Wrong Place, Right Time

Thu 2nd – Sun 12th August 2012

reviews

Bridget Wynne Willson

at 09:39 on 3rd Aug 2012

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Comprising of three stand-alone performances by three monologist-cum-comediennes, ‘Wrong Place, Right Time’ gets off to a slightly awkward start as Sophie Willan takes to the stage – or, in this case, the bus – and delivers some stand-up comedy in desperate need of polishing. The pleasant and intimate atmosphere lends the opportunity for her to indulge in some audience participation, which unfortunately in this show lacked focus and relied heavily upon a tired and slightly misguided gag about grannies. Her warmth and chatty disposition compensate, however, leaving hope on the horizon for better rehearsed performances in the future.

Leonie Higgins follows, significantly raising the game of the afternoon’s entertainment. Her musical approach to an office temp’s experiences is surprisingly beautiful and she toes the line between comedy and tragedy as she draws upon personal experiences as a young woman seeking self-fulfilment and happiness in the working world. Higgins’ unusual, novel use of looping on-the-spot recordings of her own singing voice to create harmonies gives her performance the structure and flair that it needs to succeed. Although at times falling victim to technical glitches, she provided the show’s highlight.

Lowri Evans closes the set with another comic monologue, also touching upon more tragic and self-deprecating material. Once more, awkward timing and insufficient rehearsal prevented her performance from running smoothly at all times. This drawback seemed less grave, however, in the face of some moments of true poignancy and insight on Evans’ behalf.

The venue, which was the upper level of a double decker bus, created a certain level of intimacy due to the proximity to the performers in the enclosed space. This was unfortunately marred by the irritating hum of traffic passing by.

The set failed to hit the spot mostly due to insufficient technical rehearsals, as well as a generic vagueness; at times the direction and intentions of the ladies seem uncertain, which seriously impacts the overall effect of the performance. The attempts to pick apart challenges faced by women today create a combination of both successfully delivered jokes and those that awkwardly fail to amuse. There are, however, glimmers of hope for the performers in the form of touching and funny moments, as well as the prospect of improvement as the Fringe goes on.

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Julia Chapman

at 09:46 on 3rd Aug 2012

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'Wrong Place, Right Time' was a show comprised of three monologues by different women. The production was billed as a comic performance, but the comedy was sparse: rather, storytelling was the order of the day. Transitions between performances were a bit shaky, but each performer sat with the audience in a very casual setting, supporting her fellow performers. It felt like a poetry reading in an unorthodox venue, which pleasingly encapsulated the ethos of the Fringe.

Sophie Willan was the first to perform. It was difficult to determine whether she was simply introducing her co-stars or whether her monologue was a performance in itself, for it lacked the storytelling aspect of the subsequent monologues. Willan is immensely likeable, but only provided one genuinely funny moment, and it was a wordless one. She expressed her inadequacy in comforting a friend going through a divorce with subtle humour, but her conversations with audience members about finding their inner granny fell a little flat because of the reliance on others.

The second to perform was Léonie Higgins, an extremely talented singer and storyteller who impressively found moments of humour even in mundane office clichés. Higgins’ strength was in the sheer power of her storytelling, as well as her pleasing voice with which she created melodies from basic office phrases, capitalising on the potential of looping. Her tales of failed endeavours with music producers inspired admiration rather than pity, and despite her monologue being an account of a dreary temp job, it was engrossing from start to finish.

Lowri Evans’ performance was similarly a portrayal of failed dreams. Unlike Higgins’ monologue, which was wistful but peppered with humour, Evans’ tale of an unfulfilled life was almost entirely heartbreaking. Evans provided the audience with photographs of herself at TK Maxx in outfits she thought she’d be wearing by now: fitness gear, professional wear, dresses for her daughters. This sequence was both touching and amusing, but failed to instil any real pathos. What was more interesting was Evans’ appeal to the audience, confronting us with questions of things we probably hadn’t accomplished either, and making her monologue more personal.

'Wrong Place, Right Time' featured both funny and emotional moments, but the production lacked cohesion. These were three women who had not achieved what they had hoped they would by this point in their lives, who are in the wrong place at this right time. While this lament was thought-provoking at times, collectively it is difficult to attribute one judgement of three different performances. It was a thought-provoking triad, but the overall effect of 'Wrong Place, Right Time' was weak.

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