Standing on a stage adorned with all the necessary equipment to run a fully-fledged activity holiday, Alice Devlin is poised and ready to welcome us to her Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut.
Sit down, join in and you may pick up some brand new tricks of your own.
Using a primary school flip chart as a Curriculum Vitae, we are taken through what Devlin assures us are the key skills needed to make a great impression on a potential employer. This flip chart provides a nice structure to the box of party tricks that are rolled out one by one, and as the show goes on is used to highlight Devlin’s struggle between pursuing her passion and paying the bills that every artist knows all too well.
Down-to-earth and friendly from the off, Devlin makes a point of learning every name in the audience and maintains an informal engagement throughout the set. Some of this interaction verges on awkward, with rhetorical questions leaving the crowd unsure whether a response is called for or not. Usually this is down to phrasing, and with some trial and error will help to smooth out the pacing of the show.
Casually referencing fourteen years of classical dance training, alongside her experiences with the internationally acclaimed physical theatre school of Jacques Lecoq, Devlin underplays her considerable physical talent. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, the standout sections are those where her mime artistry is given space to shine. One such sequence as a coffee barista is truly excellent and utterly believable, whilst elements of this training shine through in other pieces thanks to some wonderfully funny facial expressions.
Extra-Curricular is structured as neatly as a school lesson plan, with a good interplay of references to previous stories that lead to a wonderfully poignant ending. Sit down, join in and you may pick up some brand new tricks of your own.