An intriguing character show about comedy and race stops short
This article is from 2015.
The deliberately bad comedian has long been a successful trope at the Fringe with prime exponents including Neil Hamburger, Jeremy Lion, bits of Johnny Vegas and, this year, Zoe Coombs Marr’s ‘Dave’. Lolly Adefope deals in similar potentially hazardous terrain as part of her debut multi-character show.
Set up as an open mic night, her Lolly ‘creation’ has been tipped for great things but, crippled by nerves, she’s unable to function on stage and her chance for fame appears to have disintegrated. Conversely, the über-confident ordinary girl Gemma delivers gags that are either terrible or insensitive, but it’s attitude that gets her through. Similarly, the gender-challenging ‘X’ is so off-piste that her strong convictions are ultimately formed on nonsense while John Legend’s father shows up to claim back his estranged multi-millionaire son. The whole event is held together with vice-like determination by Wendy Parks, a delusional host whose own exaggerated achievements are undermined by her own utterings.
There is definitely something interesting going on beyond an observation that modern comedy is a very broad field. The distinct racial make-up of this industry is touched upon with backstage chatter from all the acts seeping through to us, but it’s here and gone before it can truly ignite a debate. Perhaps that’s merely a trailer for Lolly’s 2016 show.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 31 Aug (not 17), 4.30pm, £7–£9.50 (£6.50–£9).