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Pippa Evans: Your Evening's Entertainment - Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Nione Meakin

She doesn't care much for light and shade, but if you're looking for comic grotesques, Pippa Evans is your girl. After an if.comedy award-nominated debut last year, the 26-year-old returns to showcase another clutch of misfits and losers.

Julie Mansize is in charge of the post-conference corporate entertainment that has brought the audience here. She was formerly half of the lounge duo Mansize & Mansize with her husband Frank, but he recently died in suspicious circumstances. While Julie's bared teeth and glassy stare say 'the show must go on', her every jazz hand and show tune drips with an ill-concealed bitterness at having wasted so much of her life in a supporting role.

Previous creation Amangela Toolhardy returns as Julie's daughter, who is an audience liaision officer for the Pleasance. A character that, in her breathless, jerky speech and awkward mannerisms owes a debt to Jo Neary, she has been tasked with quizzing everyone about their theatre-going habits, something she will be reimbursed for ‘in kindness... and in biscuits.’

A Julie fanatic joins the front row, sharing the sheaf of drawings he's made of her since the police banned him from taking photos, along with his hopes that he can give her his gift of an egg. Then there's another appearance from Evans's most convincing character, country singer Loretta Lynn, who's hungover and as sweetly psychotic as ever as she showcases tracks from new album, I'm Not Drunk, I Just Need To Talk To You.

They are a pleasingly unsavoury bunch, at times, but a little too much so. Spread among more subtle creations, Evans's freaks might be brought into relief. As it is, everyone's a bit of a nutter except the pianist and he only escapes because he's played by a different person.

This is only Evans's second show, however, and there's enough skill on display here to suggest she's going to keep getting better.

Review date: 21 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Nione Meakin

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