There are too many shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. With literally thousands to choose from (admittedly mostly about Donald Trump or Brexit), it is increasingly difficult to navigate your way through the experimental theatre and the sketch comedy to find the right niche for you. Thankfully Lucy Pearman is oxymoronic in that she is a niche for everyone. Her bizarre character comedy is one of the most unique acts at the Fringe but almost anyone who goes in to see her will surely be delighted by her work. In a crowd of thousands of Fringe acts vying for your attention, no matter who you are, Lucy Pearman is the person that probably deserves it.
Lucy Pearman is the Edinburgh Fringe at its absolute best
A regular in the alternative comedy venues of the festival, this year Lucy takes the form of various bugs, birds, fruit and vegetables as she weaves chunks of character comedy into an overarching narrative of surprising sweetness and positivity. Never one to leave an audience member on the sidelines, Pearman is simultaneously encouraging and scolding in her many interactions with the crowd. Improvising effortlessly around costume difficulties and audience misunderstandings, Fruit Loop as a show never goes better than when it's going wrong and the performer's natural likeability takes over.
Her show consists of a huge variety of performance styles and games which are worth keeping secret from potential audience members, but there is definitely something for everyone in this show. Beyond the act itself, there is also hugely impressive commitment to costume and prop design that is evident from the moment one walks into the room. It is not only vitally refreshing to see both the stage and performer decorated with such care but it also feeds in to the perpetual optimism and hopefulness of Lucy Pearman's act. Fruit Loop is the latest of her shows featuring a down-on-their-luck vegetable or animal (in this case a worm) on an arc of redemption and the evident effort that has gone into the aesthetic design of the show emphasises Lucy's status as an underdog trying their best.
Lucy Pearman is the Edinburgh Fringe at its absolute best. Teetering on the brink of madness, brilliance, slapdash improv and finely-tuned character comedy, she is everything that so many shows aspire to be. Fruit Loop is also Lucy Pearman at her best, keeping her absurdist nature whilst introducing the best and most coherent story arc she has created as a solo performer. If you're in Edinburgh for the full month or a couple of weeks there is time to see plenty of shows, but if you are just at the Fringe for 24 hours and you want to see it distilled into 60 minutes of streamlined, joyous insanity, Fruit Loop is the show for you.