Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: Catriona Knox: Player at Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), reviewed by Jay Richardson
Player’s appeal chiefly resides in Catriona Knox’s performance. A game, exuberant comic actress, she fully inhabits her creations, throwing herself into them while remaining capable of acute physical subtlety.
Her dim-witted, Sloaney career woman is little more than an archetype, seemingly giving her PA a dressing-down for her own imbecility. But this peppy showcase of character comedy gets properly under way with a salt-of-the-Earth pub landlord, addressing the audience as regulars, her Cockney cheer dissolving as she tries to unmask the betrayer who’s ratted about her lax hygiene.
A sharp improviser, Knox has an attuned interaction radar that proves invaluable. Slapping on a bonnet, she becomes a sexually candid Jane Austen heroine, a one-note gag of mixed speech registers, amusingly delivered nonetheless.
Similar is a language teacher, agitatedly coaxing a pupil through an oral examination under Ofsted’s scrutiny, her impeccable French interspersed with seething Englishisms about Michael Gove, nicely presented but rather too long. She overstretches a breastfeeding skit too, but an ageing sex doll’s lamentations are punchier.
Ultimately, the crowd-pleasing Strictly Come Dancing finale encapsulates Knox’s hour – a so-so premise, competently written, elevated by the execution.
MORE INFO: Catriona Knox: Player is at Pleasance Courtyard
Originally published in The Scotsman