Review: The Poor Rich

Gemma Soldati's physical comedy is right on the money

comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
33946 large
The Poor Rich
Photo by Han Jie Chow
Published 08 Aug 2023

Exploring greed through the lens of absurdity, The Poor Rich is a physical comedy about money and power. Gemma Soldati’s masterful clown performance is fearless, silly and laugh-out-loud funny.

Half-bank manager-half dominatrix, Soldati wants all of your money and valuables and she’s going to seduce, threaten and trick you to hand them over. Using effective props, hilarious facial expression and with impeccable comic timing, she sets out to run a business, while diving into the heart of contemporary issues.

The show is heavily reliant on audience participation, and tonight’s audience is definitely game, literally barking on command. It’s noisy and chaotic as Soldati becomes increasingly desperate, pulling back credit lines with questionable methods to meet her financial targets. She eventually gets caught out, but lands on her feet in the end – not dissimilar to many people running unscrupulous businesses – and she’s built up enough credit to keep the audience on side when she gets away with it.

It’s a real feat to make social commentary about the capitalist world with your bosom hanging out, but Soldati manages to pull it off. The Poor Rich asks important questions and is simultaneously ridiculous, landing somewhere between excellence and absolute nonsense, and it works.