Cam Spence: The Sunshine Clinic
- Sofia Matias
- 16 August 2019
This article is from 2019
Awkward character comedy filled with uncomfortable silences
Cam Spence's newest hour begins with what seems like an infomercial for an incredibly non-compliant rehab institution, the titular Sunshine Clinic. Its owner, Janet Waitrose, drones on about the benefits of a stay at the clinic, arguing that they put the 'mental' in 'mental health'. Sadly, there's a lot of effort been put in here for barely any pay-off.
The biggest problem with The Sunshine Clinic is its over-reliance on audience participation and compliance. The show is structured to emulate a group therapy session, in which the audience is forced to take part as the makeshift patients. Videos on a screen take up more time than they should, as Spence uses them to change between her various characters and get back on stage. Crowd interaction is a staple with most comedy, but it becomes closer to a hostage situation here, and not all audiences will be equally cooperative.
While the main character of Janet is Spence's strongest, the others get lost in her attempts to make them funny. An oddly erotic poem dedicated to Richard Branson is, unfortunately, not the weirdest moment you will witness in this hour, which feels like a rejected Little Britain sketch.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 25 Aug, 4.30pm, £9–11 (£8–10).