Boner Killer, Yard Theatre

Erin Markey is a darling of the New York performance art, comedy and cabaret scenes. With an established, devoted fan base, her work has been lauded by publications such as the New York Times and Time Out. But after seeing Boner Killer, it’s unclear how she has garnered so much acclaim.

Though unarguably a skilled performer, the show has no clear aim and is a pastiche of sketches that lack completion or follow-through. Standalone moments are biting, funny and political but as a whole the show is a confusing muddle.

We meet several characters with distinctive voices, and the first is the most interesting – the entire audience is roped into planning her funeral. There’s huge potential in this scene, but it tails off unfinished. Another story about being a prostitute also shows promise, but again is discarded. Other random anecdotes appear, some absurd and some personal.

Markey is a gifted impressionist of the sort that would be easily at home on Saturday Night Live. Her face displays an impressive malleability with a voice to match. She’s also a great singer, and can take on leading women as well as character parts.

Individual scenes could easily be expanded and turned into longer pieces, or excerpts of Boner Killer would work as an act in a variety or sketch show. But as a whole, the show lacks cohesion and Markey’s performance isn’t enough to hold it together.

Boner Killer runs through 14 October.

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