Ellie White: Humans
Good moments and stand-out characters but not enough original material at this Edinburgh Fringe show
This article is from 2014.
Character comedian Ellie White’s venue is a curse and a blessing. In the basement of a Mexican restaurant, the taco-stand aesthetic is super-cute, and recurrent references to her surroundings manage to ground her roster of characters and give the show cohesion. Unfortunately, not being designed as a comedy venue, the stage is very difficult to see and a lot of the opening sketch, comprised of text on a television screen, was unavailable to most of the audience. Luckily, it wasn’t essential to the show’s remainder, a series of standalone characters.
Fully committed to each fully fleshed-out individual, White's characters include a strutting motivational speaker, a softly-spoken and slightly absurd beauty pageant contestant and a football manager. Each seems slightly familiar. This works in the case of a terrible poet, whose wide-eyed idiocy is reminiscent of spoof talking head par excellence Philomena Cunk (played by Diane Morgan on Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe).
It allows her to play on expectations and take her football manager in unexpected directions, but in the case of the deluded motivational speaker who believes her own hype then suffers a breakdown, doesn’t give us anything new. There are some great moments and a couple of stand-out characters yet it’s not quite enough to sustain the hour.
Viva Mexico, 226 0000, until 23 Aug, 2.30pm, free.