Marny Godden: Where's John's Porridge Bowl?

Something’s happened to John’s porridge bowl and Marny Godden has crafted an hour of surreal, very physical comedy to find out exactly what. It turns out to be a whimsical and enjoyable experience orchestrated by a charismatic and very funny performer.

With a ramshackle DIY feel and a sense of chaotic creativity, it is a great example of the spirit of the Free Fringe

The arrival of a bald-headed, big-bearded Moses with a mischievous glint in this eye signals the start of a show packed with characters pitched firmly from the left field. When it comes to talking, the surprisingly irreverent Biblical heavyweight speaks mainly in deeply accented gibberish, but that’s fine, because the character can pack a ton of meaning into simple gestures. Whether wrong-footing someone in the crowd, or giving the fingers to a trigger-happy lightning man upstairs, it is often very funny.

This is clearly one of Godden’s strengths as a performer. Throughout her litany of oddballs, from the baby-faced bastard of a police officer to the balding, rotund thesp who loves a game of musical statues, the best work is done through her physical performance. The verbal element of the show doesn’t quite match up to the high standards of the physical performance but some funny non-sequiturs and a couple of entertaining songs keep things from feeling unbalanced.

It all adds up to an unusual comedic performance during which you’re never entirely sure of your destination. It certainly won’t be to everybody’s taste, but Godden is engaging enough to get even a diverse audience into the fun of her show. With a ramshackle DIY feel and a sense of chaotic creativity, it is a great example of the spirit of the Free Fringe. Her show is the sort of idiosyncratic gem which should thrive during Edinburgh’s August madness.

Reviews by Alec Martin

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The Blurb

After a critically acclaimed Edinburgh run and sell-out Soho Theatre show, seasoned lunatic Marny Godden returns with another 'sublimely silly show' (Times). An hour of pure, joyful idiocy from one of comedy’s most loved buffoons. Featuring a ragtag collection of characters including an prancing pup, a clog-wielding prophet and a toothless twit. All wallies, mugwumps and fellow idiots are welcome to join in the hunt for John's porridge bowl. ***** (ThreeWeeks). ***** ( ***** (Scotsman). ***** ( ***** (