Fran Moulds: Significant Human Error
Multi-character yawn from a spirited performer
This article is from 2012.
Fran Moulds is the latest in a series of female character comedians who have laid on a feast of Fringe creations in recent years with one thing in common: their shows have all been extremely high on intricate character detail but decidedly low on anything approximating a laugh. For every Laura Solon or Cariad Lloyd there are a dozen Kerry Gilberts or Ruth Bratts or Ruth Picketts in their wake and the spirited Moulds has unfortunately fallen head-first into that latter set.
Significant Human Error is the solo debut from the former Umbrella Birds member and such a title is almost too much of a gift for the more cruel critic. The tone is set from the off with her Welsh mining museum tour guide Samantha, and a gag about safety instructions being translated into different languages which runs out of steam very quickly. Similar fates befall Ryan, her base-jumping loon; Sarah, the teenage convert to Islam; and Morgana, a self-loathing celebrity-spotting journalist.
While Simon Brodkin found a creative way to get round the whole costume-change problem of a multi-character solo act of by amusingly deconstructing the process right in front of us, Moulds silently adopts her new identities. Not sure exactly what Moulds is going through during those moments, but it makes for an extremely awkward and empty experience for the audience.
Underbelly, Bristo Square, 0844 545 8252, until 26 Aug, 2.50pm, £8.50--£9.50 (£7--£8).