A show about self-help in the coming age of President Oprah Winfrey. Everything seems to be about reinvention, and Viv Groskop wants to be the best possible version of herself. So why is that so hard? Does there come a time when you should just give up and accept you are not that great a human being?
This show is a witty, capricious and very funny journey that explores the conflicting advice of family, friends, self-help magazines and books, and your own inner voice in the search for self-improvement.
Groskop sparkles with mischief as she unveils the pressures to improve, and discovering the pithy advice from her own children is worth the price of admission alone. Jesus gets a startling review from her 7-year old, and her revelation of her inner child with a truly startling 1970s portrait causes gasps and throaty laughs from the enthusiastic audience.
Revealing the highlights from her collection of OprahWinfrey Magazines, with their singularly predictable choice of subject on the covers, and with a few startling co-star and hair choices, Viv riffs on here theme with gentle insight and more than a few perfectly-timed one-liners. The great entertainment here is seeing your own failings laid bare, and there's more than one occasion where you find yourself smiling in recognition as if seeing short movies of some of the most embarrassing moments in your life thrown up on screen in front of all those you were hoping to impress.
The hour moves along at a cracking pace, with shockingly funny episodes and anecdotes, and in the end, the bubble of self-help is well and truly burst open: being your best version of yourself is actually more about just accepting that you're a bit shit at times. Viv, throughout, is warm, engaging and frank, and this is a show that shines with humour and self-depreciation.
Book early: this was sold out even at this early stage in the Festival.
★★★★ 4 Stars