Edinburgh Fringe 2010
People in Glass Houses
Venue: Royal Mile Tavern, 127 High Street
A character collection from the slightly eccentric to bordering on the completely potty as Catriona Knox explains why people in glass houses need to be wary about lobbing rocks around.
Describing the back room of the Royal Mile Tavern as cosy would be something of an understatement. It was literally standing room only at this PBH Free Fringe show and with Catriona Knox (she of Boom Jennies fame) mingling effortlessly in character with the punters it wasn’t actually clear when the assembling stopped and the show started.
But start it did with an extension of the extemporised audience greeting as she slipped into the first of a series of characters where the common thread seemed to be a level of eccentricity bordering on the slightly deranged. Picking on individual members of an audience with a view to building a sketch is always fraught with the danger that it falls horribly flat, especially on a dreary mid-Fringe Monday afternoon. However, the energy that she put into creating each character ensured that the show ticked along nicely, even if there was a certain sameness about them, particularly in terms of accents most of which were variants on the rounded vowels favoured by elements of the UK upper classes.
Some of the sketch themes worked, some of them didn’t but that’s often the way with shows like this. But she kept returning to her core strength of audience interaction which baled her out on a number of occasions, even if it did cause toe-curling embarrassment for the poor individuals she singled out for her attention.
Some of the writing could do with a touch more substance and the characters require more differentiation but Knox has genuine conviction and energy. That, plus the fact that it’s a cheap way of spending part of your afternoon at the Fringe probably explained the high proportion of students in the willing audience. On these criteria, it’s worth a look.