Patrick Sandford is engaging, entertaining and certainly knows how to hold an audience. Performing alongside the talented Loren O’Dair who flits between piano, accordion and a whole host of accents and characters, this is a story taken from conversations with survivors of abuse.
At times Sandford seems to lose his way and O’Dair steers him back on to the path but this is all done in a theatrical and highly convivial way
This show deals with Sandford’s own story and is supported by the charity Mankind. It deals with the subject matter carefully and thoughtfully but also in an entertaining way whilst never making us feel as if we are part of a therapy session. At times Sandford seems to lose his way and O’Dair steers him back on to the path but this is all done in a theatrical and highly convivial way.
It was great to see a full house in the middle of the afternoon on a Thursday. I was worried I may be the only audience member, but clearly Brighton Fringe is now so popular that shows can attract an audience that traditionally would have only attended in the evenings or at weekends. And this audience was very appreciative. There was a Q&A after the show and people were happy to give feedback, ask questions and talk about their experiences.
Blooming was, the programme notes tell us, originally conceived as a sequel to Groomed, the story of abuse, which ran away with all the top accolades at The Brighton Fringe Awards last year.
Although Sandford says during the show that Blooming isn’t a sequel to Groomed, it does feel as if it is. I wondered what audience members who hadn’t seen Groomed felt as if they were missing out on some information? But this is still a strong show, featuring two established and strong performers and I hope to see Sandford’s next show at the Fringe in 2018.