StudioSpace Bristol didn’t set out to make great art - they just want to make you laugh. Their original comedy Oddity shows three seriously under-prepared astronauts set out on a mission through space. In low-budget silver space-suits and interspersed with ‘diary room’ style videos, the piece is endearingly funny, if a little predictable.

Oddity isn’t going to change the world, but it’s a decently fun way to explore the universe this Fringe.

Clark (Jack Deslandes), Elaine (Ellen Mason) and Luke (George Meredith) are perhaps the most mismatched mission crew that the universe has ever seen, and most of the action focuses on their attempts to get along, cramped into the confined space of the aircraft. All three performers show a real talent for comic timing, and bring an infectious energy to the piece that lasts for the entire performance. Meredith in particular stands out as dim but excitable Luke, with a dopey optimism that keeps the piece moving even when the team face troubles.

The cast work well together, but especially shine when each is alone on screen in the video segments - these are perfectly pitched as ‘talking head’ interviews, and get the most laughs from the audience, likely because the format is a familiar one. Unfortunately, the segments were shown on a small screen at audience level, so weren’t easy to see, though the short length of each segment meant that it didn’t detract from the overall show.

The actors’ comic ability was the strongest point of the piece - the plot is a little confused, and the jokes are sometimes predictable, and often the writers return to the same jokes over and over, even though they’ve fallen flat the first time. The characters weren’t particularly well-developed - none of them show any growth over the time of the mission, and so towards the end of the show the writing becomes grating at times.

Oddity isn’t going to change the world, but it’s a decently fun way to explore the universe this Fringe. 

Reviews by Caitlin Hobbs

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The Blurb

Gravity. Interstellar. 2001. What do these films have in common? They’re made by visionary directors and they’re not particularly funny. With stunning 3D actors and minimal special effects, this three-hand comedy is sure to be the complete opposite. Created through a devised process, this performance follows three astronauts as they hurtle through deep space. A perfect comedy to accompany a late night drink.

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