Adele Cliff: Sheep
- Katharine Gemmell
- 22 August 2018
Geeky wordplay that lacks vigour
Adele Cliff kicks things off by asking if anyone has ever been compared to an animal. Unsurprisingly, given the show's title, she was once compared to a sheep by classmates and this memory is the premise for her show. She uses the theme of being a metaphorical sheep – following the crowd and fitting in – to look at what she's learned in life so far.
Her set is pun-heavy with wordplay being her device of choice, but this is where the show falls short. Cliff is clearly very intelligent, given her announced love of science and nerdy things, and her puns are loaded with clever references. However, they are never delivered with ease and forcing them on the audience makes them groan-inducing rather than laugh-out-loud funny. She leans too hard on her geekiness which clearly alienates some members of the crowd.
There are a number of nice moments though, like her nostalgic take on 90s 'shag bands', and the way she jokes about sibling rivalry and trying to fit in at school. Cliff exudes a keen passion for comedy but her lack of stage presence and connection with an audience ultimately zaps the energy from the set.
Just the Tonic at The Caves, until 26 Aug, 4.10pm, £5 in advance or donations at the venue.