Elaine Malcolmson: Arrangements

Arrangements is about death and depression but doesn’t leave the audience down in the mouth.

Malcolmson has a terrific and unique stage persona.

Malcolmson is a low energy and laconic performer. And it works. It takes a while to fall in step with the rhythm she sets but once you are sucked in you realise something brilliant is going on.

The show is based around a short story called Arrangements which Malcolmson reads out on stage. It weaves a narrative of bereavement, depression, and Paisley. The tale itself is strong and mixes the right amount of jokes and thoughtfulness. Arrangements could be a good read in of itself - there are some great jokes that work well on the page as well as spoken out loud.

You probably don’t want to pay eight quid to see someone reading from a book (no matter how good) for an hour, but not to worry. The story is punctuated with stand up of varying length. These moments really add to the show as you get a better idea of the comedian behind the book. There are lots of great jokes that are expertly crafted.

A real strength is that Malcolmson will follow up a joke after you think it has come to a natural stopping point. It serves to keep the audience on its toes as to where the next joke is going to come from. The material is centred on morbid topics but it never falls into bad taste and it’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into the show. Malcolmson has a terrific and unique stage persona.

Reviews by James W. Woe

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

You don’t need to be a florist to attend this show. It’s just a very funny story, with twists and turns. It’s fine for hayfever sufferers too, even without antihistamines. It’s just a story about making decisions. You don’t even have to like flowers to enjoy this show. It’s just a story about growing up. I mean, you could hate flowers and still love this show. It’s just a story with challenges, self-reproach, jokes and death. ‘Bone-dry and talented ... exquisite material’ (Edinburgh Evening News). ‘Full of comedy life’ (Skinny).