Claudia O'Doherty: Monster Of The Deep 3D

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

Were there a prize for most dedicated commitment to props at this festival, Claudia O’Doherty would win hands-down, with hours of arts-and-crafts graft going into the realisation of her escapist fantasy.

The premise is that she is the sole surviving member of Aquaplex – a top-secret undersea colony where she was born and raised among brilliant scientists, until an explosion wiped out the entire experiment. In this presentation, she aims to tell the world of her life beneath the waves, despite her knowledge of the finer points being somewhat sketchy.

Whimsical it certainly is, as O’Doherty – a member of the Pig Island comedy troupe – constructs her own convincing universe, complete with its own religion of Blam Blam. We are bombarded with ‘facts’ about this dangerous place, living under the shadow of the colossal squid, always ready to attack. Along the way, all your questions about dolphin ejaculate and the traditional dances of the aquatic civilisation’s Day Of Enjoyment will be answered.

Bright-eyed and enthusiastic, O’Doherty – who once wrote a book on pandas with her comedy namesake David – proves a winning guide though her imaginary world. Charm is her biggest asset, but she needs every ounce of it as, unfortunately, the show is all concept and little content.

Impressive though Monster Of The Deep 3D is, there are more smiles than chuckles as O’Doherty builds the fanciful ambience. She has such charisma that you can feel nothing but goodwill towards her, but as a comedy show – rather than a piece of fringe artistry – there is too little substance and too few solid laughs.

That can only be slightly disappointing as she’s certainly got a unique style, an inventive mind and a captivating stage presence.

Review date: 3 Apr 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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