Laura Ramoso’s sketches went viral on TikTok and Instagram, earning her millions of fans. Now, she’s making her debut at Edinburgh’s Fringe with Frances – a one-woman sketch show that sees the comedian successfully transition from small screen to stage.
(Photo: Nick Merzetti)
Parents are a running theme in Laura Ramoso’s show, Frances. Her mother – or at least the character of her mother – is the eponymous Frances of the show itself, while her performance as a competitor at the “Italian Dad of the Year Awards” also fills a large portion in the middle of the show.
Yet while Frances is often about parents, it is an hour designed for twenty-somethings who are yet to have children themselves. Affectionately mocking one’s parents is a feature of social media comedy; re-enacting the idiosyncrasies of an elder generation and discovering how similar so many peoples’ experiences with their parents actually are.
Italian Dad is the most overt example of this, but Ramoso is a master of material relatable to a generation of young adults. She toes a line between a disenfrachisement with the state of it all and an ability to laugh about it. Based off her legion of fans, she’s one of many.
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Her cast of characters won’t be new to these fans. She has over a million followers across social media platforms and hundreds of millions of views, and those in Frances are the same subject of her viral success that now makes its way to the screen.
The fleeting nature of the sketches can make an hour feel like a long time, while the show’s central narrative – the relationship between an on-and-off again pair of lovers doing exactly that – is not as good as the characters Ramoso portrays.
Nonetheless, she makes the transition from small screen to stage with aplomb. She’s comfortable adjusting when something goes awry, seeming to relish the opportunity to improvise rather than fear it. Filming videos gives you the ability to redo things. Being on stage, you can’t, and Ramoso’s ease is impressive.
Her audience interaction is done subtly and in fact provides some of the show’s best moments. The crowd, for their part, are enamoured with Ramoso. Pleasance Courtyard is a great venue and a coveted 8:20pm time slot sets her up perfectly for a successful debut month ahead.