Edinburgh Fringe 2017
Roundhouse Resident Artist Isobel Rogers brings us her satirical musical mash-up to delve into the personalities of a posh London cafe.
Isobel is a very accomplished musician and storyteller. She captures the audiences imagination almost instantly with this newly developed show.
Elsa works in a cafe in London. She moved to the big city to be an artist but works As a waitress to make ends meet. She has to work so hard that she finds little time for her creative endeavours so makes up songs in her head about the customers that come in everyday.
Elsa isn’t happy, Elsa isn’t fulfilled and she longs to be ‘someone Elsa’.
Isobel Rogers guides us on a musical journey trying on the personalities of the cafe patrons to see if they fit. Her delicate guitar playing with hints of Anais Mitchell is a mixture of singing, spoken word and very briefly rap that whisks us delicately from character to character.
The staging for this piece is simple, almost like an open mic night with only the minimal lighting effects. However, this is all that is required for Rogers to draw you in.
Elsa is friendly, polite and can make a perfect flat white, her customers never suspecting she’s always listening.
Her songs are satirical and occasionally laugh out loud with tales of one night stands, potential boyfriends you lose yourself in and yummy mummies passive aggressively comparing their offsprings schools. We are occasionally taken out of the cafe setting and into the realms of the unreal. Exploding coffee machines and scenes from movies remind the audience never become too distant from their imagination.
Roger’s performance is solid and witty if a little timid on occasion and sadly the rap section of the piece seemed unnecessary to me. The relatable world of artistic struggle is not a new story but certainly a relevant one.
We all must struggle on, not get caught up in ‘Mr Breezys’ who take our personalities and leave us feeling flat, not become dependant on the narcissistic reassurance from social media and certainly never jump into bed with the first guy that pays us a compliment. But most importantly we should never give up on following our dreams.
Elsa is a wonderfully uplifting show that will delight audiences far and wide.