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Claudia O'Doherty - The Telescope
Published on Friday, 17 August 2012
4

4 stars

Underbelly, Cowgate (venue website)
Comedy
2-12, 14-26 Aug, 7:45pm-8:45pm
Reviewed by Anne Stirling

 Recommended for age 12+ only.

Claudia O'Doherty's The Telescope will appeal to those who revel in the random. This Australian lass is no stranger to the Edinburgh Fringe, bringing her third offering of comedic delight to the Underbelly this year. To the casual observer she appears a sweet and unassuming girl buzzing with enthusiasm, but what she provides is a weird and wonderful show, revealing the odd inner workings of her mind which both confuse and tickle her audience.

The show begins with the high energy anthem Are You Ready For This? involving an awkward attempt at audience interaction as she one-by-one invites her front row to shout their name into the microphone. She then regales us with the comedy journey she has been through in Australia, which has brought her to this point. She informs us that this show will break from her usual quirky stylings and turn to a more dramatic and disturbing piece of time-travelling anti-theatre entitled The Telescope. Her use of video throughout the show is effective and funny, and the story is bizarre.

O'Doherty sets herself up for disaster, by telling us her show is so tech-heavy that she has programmed her technical cues onto one CD rather than put her faith in the venue appointed technician. And while I won't reveal exactly how disastrous things end up, her diversions from the course more than make up for what we may have missed. My particular favourite was her meta-comedic demonstration of two choice 'stage poses', akin to those of the motivational speaker. She blends physical and observational comedy into a whimsical union, which is a fresh approach amid the ever-growing breadth of comedy shows at the fringe. 

While the show bounced along happily, there were occasions when moments dragged on, such as the love scene, and her freak-out at losing her place, which caused lulls in what was otherwise a high-energy and hyperactive fun-filled show.

O'Doherty's debut into ‘fantasy film meets cop melodrama meets medieval mystery’ reveals her quirky personality. Her imaginative outpourings, through the characters she creates and the story she narrates, endear her to us. In the final video - a clever technological feat - O'Doherty embraces her wackiness, and her audience celebrate this too, with a well-deserved chuckle and hearty round of applause.

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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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