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Cariad Lloyd: Fringe 2012

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Corry Shaw

In her ‘difficult second show’, 2011 best newcomer nominee Cariad Lloyd acknowledges her theatrical approach to character comedy with the Fringe Police, who pop up from time to time to ensure she sticks to her comedy billing.

And it is touch and go at times. The deliberately obtuse and ridiculous set pieces she chooses to open with are a tongue-in-cheek example of her acting skill but when the humour is derived purely from bad accents or weird titles do we really need to sit through five minutes of it to get the joke?  

It really is an offbeat show with some strong writing jammed up against plain weirdness for weirdness's sake. A Spinning Wheel to choose genres of sketch, a contemporary dance about a Syrian woman who's lost her lover, a Swedish Moomin fighting crimes with Wallander… it's all a little obscure and odd.

But Lloyd has a charm and a conviction in her delivery which just about keeps everyone on-side and attentive through the more surreal sections until we reach 'Andrew' a returning character who despite being far fetched and odd, seems practically mundane next to her weirder inventions. So it is no surprise that this more accessible concept of a child presenting a TED talk on Shakespeare is the most popular segments of the evening. There are some cute lines and big laughs and its almost infuriating when she moves on to the next section just as she finds her flow.

Kitty Romford the film noir Asda worker, is as crazy as it sounds but the craziness works, albeit briefly and Lloyd seems to be keeping laughs on track and on the right side of insane.  But it needs editing, her newer characters seem to revolve very much round one joke or concept and are padded out with fluff which dampens the initial impact of the idea, and lessens the joy of the absurd.

We meet more creations, Joey Bechamel (a parody of New Girl) and Cockney Sam, the music-hall legend, before everything is tied up in a slightly overambitious but entertaining climax. Lloyd is clearly a talented, likeable actress and a good writer, with a particular and peculiar humour that’s unique and interesting.

Hopefully she will return with a sharper, more focused and less difficult third show next year.

Review date: 15 Aug 2012
Reviewed by: Corry Shaw
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

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