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Cariad Lloyd - The Freewheelin' Cariad Lloyd
Published on Wednesday, 15 August 2012
3

3 stars

Pleasance Courtyard (venue website)
Comedy
1-13, 15-27 Aug, 4:45pm-5:45pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Family-friendly. Suitable for all ages.
 Recommended for age 14+ only.

You’ve got to feel for Cariad Lloyd. After last year’s amazing success, getting a Best Newcomer nomination for her free show at the Fringe, now she’s in the Pleasance Courtyard – and the pressure is on. For the most part, she steps up.

Here are Lloyd’s famously offbeat characters and ideas: like the Moomins joining the scandi-crime boom and disastrous TED talks. From Lloyd’s patter, it seems she has been bitten by her penchant for favouring topics no other character comic would dream of, and she keeps checking and re-checking if we’ve heard of things. It’s a shame she feels the need to do that, as it really unbalances the show. I wish she’d just fly with it, and let any clueless audience members catch up or get left behind.

Another problem was a long-running in-joke about the sections of the Fringe brochure, and the difference between comedy and theatre. This got old fast, and, unfortunately, kept on coming back. It was just that bit too in-jokey to be dragged out that long.

But Lloyd is so much fun to watch it is easy to forgive her all of this. She’s a great improviser, and often her ad-libs got the biggest laughs.  And the show’s ending made use of film-style montage clichés in a way you would never expect to see in a character comedy show.

The show’s greatest hit was a pastiche of everyone’s least-favourite manic pixie dream girl. It’s an easy subject (rare for Lloyd), but her glorious rendering of “Jooey Bechamel’s” split personality (sexy for men, a best friend for the ladies) was consistently hilarious and note-perfect – and showed that Lloyd doesn’t need any tricks or recurring in-jokes to deliver thoughtful, clever comedy.

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

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