Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Marny Godden: Flap ‘em on the Gate, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Paul Whitelaw
From a certain skewiff angle, Marny Godden resembles a concussed Joyce Grenfell rummaging wildly through a dressing-up box. She’s an oddball character comic who, in her first solo Fringe show, welcomes us into her daft yet slightly sinister world of adventure.
Accompanied by eerily discordant music, she arrives on stage as a wheezy Cockney spiv who sets the tone by launching into the first of many nonsensical songs (Matt Lucas/George Dawes’ Shooting Stars ditties are seemingly a key influence).
Moments later she’s changing costume in full view of the audience, all the while keeping our attention with her disarming smile and saucer-eyed stare. Now she’s the spiv’s floral-printed, Wendy Craig-like wife, who demonstrates the difficulties of doing a crossword in the dark while wearing a miner’s lamp.
And so it goes on, a spinning roulette wheel of non sequiturs, some more effective than others. Yet despite the inconsistent nature of her act – deranged whimsy is a difficult thing to sustain – you should be won over by the end.
Audience participation is encouraged with abandon, but Godden’s nonsense is so free of malice, no-one need be scared. She’s a promising eccentric.
Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61), until 30 August, 5:20pm
Published in The Scotsman on 25 August 2015
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