Eleanor Thom: I Am Bev

In her own ridiculous words, Bev is ‘a full time partner, a friend to many and a giver to all’. As she stands on stage, dressed to the nines in a pink lycra top, leopard-print leggings and high-heeled black boots that she will later swap for her apparently more comfortable gold, wedged trainers, it’s impossible not to fall in love with this air-headed character constructed by Eleanor Thom.

Bev initially planned on whisking her audience off on a glamorous coach ride around Edinburgh (complimentary white wine spritzers, of course), but unfortunately some complications with Derek the coach driver have scuppered her plans. Luckily though Bev is a self-affirmed entertainer, so she improvises by rattling off her amusing life story for the next hour. Initially Thom is a little wooden, but she increasingly relaxes into Bev, acting mannerisms that bring the character to life. Bev explains that there is nothing more boring than people who love the sound of their own voice, whilst simultaneously describing every detail of her life. Her monologue is easy listening, with a generous sprinkling of one-liners that are guaranteed to grab a smile, even if they don’t have you clutching your belly with laughter.

The show successfully transports you to the world of Bev, as Thom makes the most of the props that surround her. She taps away with lacquered nails on her iPhone, leaving impatient messages for Derek, convincing to the point that we almost feel like we are in the audience because we’re waiting for that coach to arrive. Things become more surreal when we are offered an Ikea picnic bag and we are left greedily withdrawing a retro Tunnock’s Teacake, which Bev has handed around to pass the time.

Bev’s cares may be completely ridiculous, she may be self-obsessed and she may even be bitchy when she describes her friends at water-aerobics, but this simply consolidates the comical absurdity of her charm that guides you gently through the show. The frivolities of Bev won’t be particularly memorable, but it’s an enjoyable way to momentarily escape the hustle and bustle of the Edinburgh Fringe.

Performances

The Blurb

“The BBC said, ‘Bev, you need a vehicle’, so I’ve got one. Inclusive of drinks trolley. Get onboard.” As seen in Lady Garden - ‘Britain’s Funniest Women’ (Sunday Telegraph), Absolutely Fabulous and Live at the Electric.