Character Tålks

Pernilla Holland’s debut solo show is an ambitious but bumpy foray into character comedy. From a Norwegian Eurovision has-been to a church youth group leader, Holland adopts a range of personae and delivers short monologues from a range of perspectives. However, it’s not all that broad a range, and as the show goes on it becomes clear that whilst Holland has a very confident and assured presence on stage, the writing is not strong enough to hold up for the full 60 minutes.

She’s a good actor as well, just one whose characters need fleshing out more before being placed onto the stage independent of their surroundings.

There’s nothing particularly original about any of the characters of Character Talks, especially when presented against the vast array of shows available in Edinburgh. Failed pop stars, unfulfilled office workers- most of these can be found in other shows at the Fringe this year and with a little more pizazz. It seems that Holland dances around the more tired tropes of each character without really riffing on something new.

Holland’s aggressive career climber Celeste is realised with full commitment to a hyper-masculine body language, and engages with some useful audience interaction. She doesn’t really have many jokes, though. Instead, the character comes across as a dramatic monologue with the humour coming more from Celeste’s presence on the stage rather than the subject matter. The conclusion of this segment is fairly predictable, a punch line that seems familiar.

That’s the problem that resonates again and again with Holland’s characters: they’re fairly believable (except for her clueless church group leader, who feels like an outdated caricature beyond an opener involving audience interaction and a lot of biscuits) but the hit rate for jokes is consistently low. It feels like Holland is quite isolated on the stage, and is more used to working alongside others than as a solo venture. She’s a good actor as well, just one whose characters need fleshing out more before being placed onto the stage independent of their surroundings. 

Reviews by Louise Jones

The Turn Pot

NOTFLIX

★★★★
The Tea Pot

Adele Cliff : Sheep

★★★
Laughing Horse @ Caroline of Brunswick

Jack Left Town: The Improvised Rock Documentary

★★★
The Warren: Studio 3

Planet Earth III

★★★★
Gilded Balloon at the Counting House

Beth Vyse: As Funny as Cancer

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

A character comedy from a serious Norwegian. No stone is left unturned as important issues like existentialism, sun panels and Eurovision are tålked about in this fast-paced comedy. Pernilla Holland combines silliness with sophistication in her debut show Character Tålks. ‘Hilarious’ (Time Out). 'Stand-out star' (ThePublicReviews.com). ‘Fantastic deadpan comedy’ (Everything-Theatre.co.uk).

Most Popular See More

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets