It’s astonishing to think that this show was cobbled together by Cariad Lloyd in just a couple of days after her comedy partner Louise Ford was called to LA to film a pilot. Going solo, Lloyd valiantly soldiers on with her character hour, and it’s an absolute belter.
Wrapped in a shawl, Lloyd is transformed into a Northern widow waxing lyrical on her dead, abusive husband (much funnier than it sounds). In a hooded cardi she becomes a New Jersey hot mess, a troublesome meth addict causing havoc amongst her family. In striped socks and knitted vest she’s a seven year old boy giving a confused lesson on revolutionary Russia. Swamped in a gangsta hoodie she’s arrogant Frenchman Jacque le Coq, world’s worst free-runner. These characters showcase Lloyd’s inventiveness, as well as her knack for nailing accents, and they’re all extremely funny. Her satire of Zooey Deschanel is pitch-perfect, ‘adorkable’ with her cupcakes and twee dress, conforming to a host of female stereotypes in order to arouse men. Her ‘Sanitary Bag Lady’ is best of all, totally unique and utterly outrageous.
How Lloyd deals with a bunch of noisy and fidgety teenagers in the audience demonstrates what a gifted improviser she is. With humour and razor wit, she gives them the opportunity to exit, and her grace and spontaneity here earns her some of the heartiest laughs of the hour. Lloyd is clearly an incredibly talented comedy actress with just the right amount of crazy in her. She’s more than capable of captivating a crowd single-handedly, and her solo character hour earned her some of the biggest – and most deserved – belly laughs I’ve heard at the Fringe this year.