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Sideshow shockers and the queen of obscene

Abigoliah Schamaun

Abigoliah Schamaun

Blackfriars Basement

How many comedians does it take to eat a lightbulb? Only one if it's Abigoliah Schamaun, whose push-the-envelope stand-up routine is punctured (hope that word isn't tempting fate) by "sideshow" shocks such as pulling an acupuncture needle all the way through her hand and eating fire (although that one didn't happen at her Glasgow gig, much to the relief of Blackfriars' low ceiling; she opted to set her hand ablaze instead).

Those physically masochistic acts chime with the ballsy personality that emerges from the dirty jokes, filthy stories and unflinching observations that form the spoken-word part of her act. Most of these involve her promiscuity at home back in Harlem or on tour anywhere the comedy muse takes her. This is a show where the easily offended should be given a 500-metre restraining order.

She namechecks George Carlin as the comedian who inspired her to walk down this explicit career path, and there's definitely a spark of him in what she does, Denis Leary too in the way she'll spot the shock value of a gag but twist it into something revealingly personal and, crucially, very funny. For an hour, Blackfriars feels like an edgy downtown New York venue, and the International part of Glasgow Comedy Festival's title rings true.

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