Review: Olga Koch: Prawn Cocktail

A charismatic and captivating hour from a master of stand-up

comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Olga Koch
Photo by Rachel Sherlock
Published 02 Aug 2023

There aren’t that many comics who can crack a smutty maths joke and perform some impressive sexual miming while bringing their Masters thesis to life – all while delivering a non-stop torrent of laughs. Olga Koch can do it backwards and in heels (OK, Crocs).

Koch has had one heck of a year. In addition to her academic attainments, she’s turned 30, travelled the world, got three tattoos (one’s a prawn) and had some surprising medical news. She’s delighted to have achieved some specific sexual breakthroughs and if you saw last year’s show, Just Friends, you’ll have a pretty good idea of one particular ambition she was hoping to fulfil. 

This confident and engaging stand-up wrote her thesis on parasocial relationships, the imbalance that occurs when one person is emotionally invested in another, yet the latter has no awareness of the former’s existence. It’s a common feature of contemporary life, particularly when well-known people reveal aspects of themselves on social media, but so-called reply guys aren't the only ones who succumb to it.

The true story she tells to illustrate the concept takes some interesting turns, and there’s a rare, if fleeting, glimpse of vulnerability from Koch which serves as an appreciated little twist of self-knowledge in this tasty sex-positive cocktail.

Every time you think Koch is already at the top of the game, she comes out with something even better. Imagine what she’ll give us when she turns 40.