Some of the best comic characters out there are likeable but misguided individuals, chronically lacking in self-awareness. Clare Plested has created a strong line-up of personalities with just these traits in her Free Fringe show – and she backs them up with a performance that provides a lot of fun.
Her show provides a very entertaining hour of good-natured comedy and is well worth taking in.
As she takes us on a journey through her weird and wacky bunch, from a northern secret agent with a one-track mind to an Australian clairvoyant canvassing for work in an old folks home, there is always a knowing twinkle in Plested’s eye and a sense of enjoyment which is infectious. She’s a performer having a good time and it shows in the way she interacts with the material and the crowd.
Even the slightly less polished moments are turned to Plested’s advantage as she plays up an inability to pronounce certain words in the accents she’s going for; her ability to slip in and out of character with little more than a smile or sideways glance is a great attribute, leading to more than a few laughs.
Not every character hits the mark consistently but every one of the creations has moments of comic value. Alongside the gags are periods of physical comedy such as a mum’s-night-out drinks binge on fast forward and an exuberant dance to the sounds of the Cannonball Run movie theme song. These are among the highlights of the show, showcasing Plested’s impressive creativity.
The comedian has even come up with a novel way of negotiating the costume change, those periods of time in which audience engagement can quickly deflate. Plested keeps everyone entertained with pre-recorded snippets of her husband’s reactions to the material she’s created. It turns out he was a tough crowd.
With an ability to engage effortlessly with her audience, Plested is guaranteed to get better reactions than those she elicited from him indoors. Her show provides a very entertaining hour of good-natured comedy and is well worth taking in.