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Home arrow Archive: EdFringe 2013 arrow Eleanor Thom: I Am Bev
Eleanor Thom: I Am Bev
Published on Tuesday, 20 August 2013

3 stars

Pleasance Courtyard (venue website)
31 Jul, 1-13, 15-26 Aug, 3:30pm-4:30pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Recommended for age 12+ only.

In this hour of character comedy we meet Bev. She’s put on an Edinburgh show in the hope of impressing the BBC, and fulfilling her dream of being a TV presenter. Bev is a rounded and enjoyable character and Thom is clearly a comfortable confident performer – but the joke that is Bev wore thin in this hour-long monologue.

The idea at the heart of this show is that Bev has arranged for us to go on a coach trip to the seaside, and have a beach barbeque. The entire show takes place as Bev vamps, waiting for the coach to arrive. The fictional reason for this extravagant show is that Bev wants a gimmick to be noticed at the fringe, and the failure of this strategy works well as the real-life gimmick for the show. It’s refreshing to see a character comedy show with enough internal logic that you know just why this character is stuck talking to you for so long.

And Bev is fun. The references to aqua aerobics, wedge trainers and Tunnocks Teacakes feel spot on. Bev’s clothes and manner bring her nicely to life; it all feels familiar.

But perhaps just too familiar. I was waiting for a twist to Bev that never came. The delight with this type of monstrous characters is when they reveal some vulnerability and become something more. Bev never does this – the characterisation stays on one level, and in an hour-long piece, this gets tired.

This is an excellent performance of an entertaining character – but it needs a little more going on, to stop it feeling like a sketch that has been stretched to breaking point.

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