Marny Godden: Flap ‘em on the Gate

From the moment Marny Godden’s first character walks onto the stage to a decidedly creepy soundtrack it’s clear that the comedian will be leading the audience down an unusual path. The promise of this introduction is borne out throughout the rest of this fantastically realised slice of surreal character comedy.

The ability to draw a laugh with a look is one of Godden’s strengths – one she employs regularly

That first creation is Mick, a kipper-loving wheeler dealer who does a great line in invisible drum kits. With a roll-up in one hand, a strange carpet-style wig and hat combo on her head, and a trenchcoat so grimy that even the seediest flasher might be embarrassed to be seen in or out of it, Godden cuts an impressively bizarre figure.

It’s not long before Mick brings music and dance to the stage, all underlined by odd behaviour, surreal dialogue and a lot of very funny moments. These are the key ingredients in many of the memorable characters that follow. From a hirsute young wiseguy with a love of the alphabet to an irascible Moses passing down messages from on high, the laughs come from unusual directions – and often from little more than a look or incoherent noise.

The ability to draw a laugh with a look is one of Godden’s strengths – one she employs regularly as she works her way through the outfits draped on a frame to the back of the stage; throughout these costume changes she keeps the audience engaged with no more than a smile accompanied by a bit of low intensity bopping.

Some of the audience are engaged further still as the comedian plucks members from the crowd to join in with the madness. It’s all done in tremendously good spirits and the clear enjoyment that Godden feels whilst performing is infectious.

By the end of the show Mick has returned to that same creepy song that opened the show, and the audience has been on a mildly baffling and highly entertaining journey through the mind of a wonderfully creative comedian. I look forward to seeing where she’ll take us next.

Reviews by Alec Martin

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The Blurb

Marny Godden is one third of cult comedy group The Grandees (***** ThreeWeeks) and has brought to life a collection of very colourful characters. In this, her debut solo show, she mixes clowning and narrative storytelling to take the audience on an uplifting, fun-packed adventure. Meet the Little Wula, a hirsute 15-year-old boy; Mick, a kipper-loving wheeler dealer; a dog-riding girl with a never-ending smile; a hoover lady; and Wilmot Brown, the finest actor in London town. Prepare yourself to feel exhilarated, giddy and totally uplifted.