Dolly Mixture, the debut solo show of character comedienne Anna Morris, is not quite as it first appears. Packaged in a beautiful, blonde parcel, Dolly Mixture’s comedy is far darker and more twisted than you’d first assume. The six characters revealed throughout the show each have their own sinister edge and the show is introduced by a disembodied voice coming from a doll’s head on the stage. Fans of Morris’ internet work will be delighted to see the live version of her embittered bride character, brought to life with Morris' tongue in cheek portrayal of Chelsea's Georgina, along with a host of other new characters and sketches.
As Morris takes the stage she commands the space and her opening character - a nervous student of comedy doing their first gig - is her most successful. Morris’ delivery is dry and her acting is strong; every scene drips with professionalism and her dark, ironic wit and she transforms into character with perfect sophistication. The various scenarios she depicts range from to an overzealous host on a holiday cruise ship to a feminist author dissuading the women in the audience from getting married. The running thread of sinister advertisements for bizarre beauty products works well in structuring the show and keeping some momentum.
Despite Morris' competent performance, the show doesn't quite work due to the slight indulgence taken in its timing; all the sections have strong premises and are executed well but each drags on for much longer than it needs to be. There are a few hilarious lines that warrant some strong laughs, however, padding out lengthy scenes with less funny material dilutes the power of her ideas and Morris' comedic potential as a solo performer definitely has not yet been reached. Moreover, although the darker side to this show works very well, there are a few moments where Morris' attempt to provide a controversial joke falls flat: a particular disability jibe in her wedding scene misses the mark quite widely.Dolly Mixture is a slick performance and Morris is a delight to watch, but this show could use some restructuring before it packs a real punch.