Hannah Ringham's Free Show (Bring Money)

The old adage ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ is not one that Hannah Ringham subscribes to. The show’s title may sound like that of a stand-up routine but by the end we realise that what Ringham has shown us a satire on the self-indulgence of certain performers. Her targets are those performers who believe that the audience owes them something, those who believe that the story of their own personal life is worth paying to listen to.A fan of the old anti-climax, Ringham offers very little of the performance that she wishes us to pay for. The opening five minutes hears tense music that builds to nothing and there is a feeling throughout that the main action finished just as we arrived.Nonetheless, she still tries to convince us to pay. This is the main comedy of the show as she wears the persona of an awkward performer, desperate for the audience to like her. Often she will begin a certain action only to get distracted by the reaction of her audience: one particularly enjoyable moment is a horrendously uncommitted seduction after worries that there’s not enough sexual content. The show is an anti-performance and whilst the concept is quite arresting, the moments of awkward comedy are repeated to the point that the show begins to drag.We get the feeling we are not supposed to entirely enjoy the show but it is not funny or shocking enough to offer a lasting insight into a performer’s relationship with their audience. This is especially so considering the controversy and widespread shock of other interactive shows at this year’s Fringe by companies like Ontroend Goed; comparisons are inevitable and unfortunately Ringham’s show falls short of the mark.

Reviews by Sam Kingston-Jones

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The Blurb

At the heart of this show lies the question of its worth. It is free! You come in for free and in the show it is up to you how much you pay.

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