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Lady Garden - Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Julian Hall

Following on from their debut Fringe show last year and appearances in the finals of this year’s Laughing Horse and Hackney Empire new act competitions, Lady Garden are back with a jolly hour wf sketch comedy.

Starting steadily with a simple riff on cheap airlines (Gardenair they calls themselves, but since they are all dressed in green anyway the knowing look to a certain airline is even more pointed) the show ebbs and flows towards its rousing finish where a funeral eulogy is delivered in the manner of an R’n’B anthem. Yes, it’s a similiar ruse to last year’s wedding sketch but they have wisely gone for the ‘if it ain’t broke…’ option here.

As with almost any sketch pot-pourri there are scenes that are more fragrant than others. Skits on a cop hell-bent on punishing the legal system for defending criminals, live role play participants getting into character and Countdown without Richard Whiteley and Carol Vorderman all feel a wee bit ‘filler’, not fully realised.

Nonetheless there is nothing that stinks and these sections are interspersed with good sketches that include a bitter yoga tutor who can’t let go of the pain of the break up of her marriage, the British Heart Foundation scene in which a gaudy Northerner Bev give advice on affairs of the heart rather than cardiac health and Britain’s Next Top Monarch,in which Henry VIII’s wives fight it out to stay alive – literally.

Though at first the idea of six people in a troupe seems unwieldy it ultimately helps a mix and match feel and helps keep the proceedings fresh. It’s notable that the same troupe member can do well in one sketch and not as well in another and this is indicative of the growth that still needs to happen to see more consistent performances bloom alongside more consistent sketches.

That said, an hour in this garden could be the light tonic your Fringe needs. Frivolous and fun if not yet perfectly formed.

Review date: 24 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Julian Hall

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