Claudia O'Doherty: Pioneer
Minimalist humour, minimal joy
This article is from 2013.
With her 2010 solo debut Monster of the Deep 3-D, Claudia O’Doherty’s lo-fi whimsy was a genuine delight. Her subsequent shows (including last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated The Telescope) have gradually increased in physical scope to the point where she has now brought us Pioneer, in which she has put together an ultra-expensive stage spectacle in a bid to attract shallow sponsors with deep pockets.
The joke is that while she has somehow managed to get her hands on flashy multi-media tools (holograms, gauze screens and massive sound effects), her comedy aesthetic remains defiantly minimalist. Once you’ve got the joke and take it on board as you watch O’Doherty fail to be in complete control of her set, there’s very little else to sustain the hour. The odd self-deprecatory quip manages to climb its way to safety and escape her character’s seeming arrogance, but it’s never wholly satisfying.
It’s so brash, bold and ultimately pointless, that you yearn for the day when her shows would end with a handful of crowd members looking at an underwater universe through a cardboard box.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 26 Aug, 9.50pm, £9–£11.50 (£8–£10.50).