Katia Kvinge is straight out of The Second City, Groundlings and UCB Theatre. With this wealth experience behind her, she is up at the fringe bringing us a fresh batch of characters that demonstrate her remarkable versatility.
It comes across that she cares a lot about each of her characters.
The show started with two impressive sketches. Her first persona was a self-conscious kids party entertainer, complete with bum bag and lycra leotard, who had mortifyingly been booked by members of her old high school to perform at a party. A favourite moment of mine is when you can see the fear in Miss Kvinge’s eyes as she tentatively asks one of her old bullies onto the stage to help her perform a rendition of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. This was followed by a relatable American acting coach, donned with turtle neck and glasses, who gave advice on headshots and Lord Voldermort impressions.
Katia’s characters all have two things in common. First of all, they each have a very fast manic energy about them, which is highly entertaining. Secondly, it comes across that she cares a lot about each of them. Because of this, I felt invested in each of her personas.
Her plethora of other characters also include: a new French stand up who is trying to break into the Edinburgh scene; Miss Norway who stunned us with her talented bird impressions and Scandinavian hip hop skills; and finally the mastermind behind the fringe famous ‘Christmas shop’ which is open all year round. I will not spoil any surprises, but just to get your imaginations going, elf ears are involved.
As Katia says at the beginning of the show, these performances are all works in progress, and although Miss Kvinge has an incredible range, the performance is a little rough around the edges. Firstly, the transitions were sluggish: there were a good few minutes in between each sketch, where Katia would be getting changed into her next costume. The costumes were wonderful, but they sacrificed the pace of the show. On top of this, a few of her acts heavily relied on audience interaction, and although there were instances where this worked really well, Katia needs to fully figure out what she is going to do with all of her victims if she is going to go through the trouble of bringing them up on the stage.
It will be interesting to see how her ‘Karacters’ develop over the next 3 weeks.