Cautionary Kate

With an energetic physicality and endearing vulnerability, Katie Sherrard’s hungover mess of a character walks the audience through the familiar state of trying simultaneously to remember that hazy night before and block it out entirely, adding a slightly darker twist.

Sherrard makes great use of the audience as players in her imagined adventures.

Grubby and hungover, Kate is held hostage in her bedroom by her own inner demons. The voices in her head argue with her and amongst themselves. One moment they tell her she is perfect, prompting the enactment of fantasies that have suspiciously similar plots to various well known romantic films. The next moment another voice starts ladling the self-loathing on so thick and fast that Kate visibly shrinks beneath its weight. This squabbling back and forth makes for some hilarious set pieces in which Sherrard makes great use of the audience as players in her imagined adventures. Kate’s Oscar acceptance speech is a particular highlight, as is the spirited rendition of Nicky Minaj she gives at the after party.

What really makes this show interesting, however, is the much darker undertone that flows through the performance. Punctuating the hilarity – in which both audience and Kate are participating in the action - are moments when reality is reasserted into Kate’s delusions Kate and we are reminded that she is in fact alone in her bedroom, too anxious to leave or act. Sudden light dims, music cuts and the recurring sound of an ominously ticking clock help create this sense of foreboding. Caught between self-hatred and delusion, ‘she’s trapped herself and there is no getting out’.

This could have been exploited more. The show’s easy resolution feels a little unconvincing and trite after the darker moments, less a cautionary tale than an inspirational one. But then again, we all need a few of those. 

Reviews by Iona Gaskell

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The Blurb

Kate's hungover. Really hungover. She's shut herself away with only her imaginary friends to distract her: recipe for disaster. Prepare for a surreal odyssey to the darkest and strangest corners of Kate's mind via the embarrassing and the shameful. But what's stopping Kate from leaving her room? An embarrassing phone call? A friendship faux pas? Or something a whole lot scarier? A new comedy solo show from Katie Sherrard (Lorraine & Alan), winner Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence, and Sadie Spencer (Albee Vector the Sound Collector). **** (Scotsman).