Edinburgh Fringe 2018
Whilst this may sound completely contradictory, Clingfilm is a lighthearted romp through a funeral service. Fueled by the raw talent and charm of this well-balanced trio of natural comediennes, this is one of the more entertaining hours you can spend at the Fringe this year.
There’s no shortage of comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, especially in a late-night time slot, yet Clingfilm stands out from the pack. The show is, to be fair, a completely bizarre concept: three women unite at their former teacher’s funeral, during which they have furtive and completely inappropriate conversations. All roles in the show are played in madcap fashion by its cast of three, who alternate between performing themselves, funeral guest speakers, and a sexist (and closeted?) vicar. The laughs abound, but there’s a nice balance with the occasional reflective inner monologue offered by each character. The performers– Lilly Pollard, Tutku Barbaros and Izabella Malewska– play exaggerated but truthful versions of themselves, landing on tried and true comedy tropes made unique through sourcing their own origins: the privileged posh girl, the working class Turkish girl, and the far-out Polish girl, who thinks it’s completely reasonable to hypothesize about marrying her own father. They are perfect complements: while each stands out in her own comedic style independently, as an ensemble, they work together brilliantly.
The show has a freeform feel to it that in the hands of less capable performers would feel a little too loose but works just right here, feeding off the natural conviviality of a 11PM time slot. This may be a funeral, but we’re not to be taking any of this too seriously: the costumes themselves, black tops with inordinately sparkly sequin pants, immediately set the tone. Gallows humor abounding, wigs and costume pieces are retrieved and returned to a small coffin-like box stage right, and the piece begins and ends with an original song about the joy of funerals– in one of the more lyrically brilliant moves I’ve seen, they rhyme “ash to ash, dust to dust” with “sandwiches with no crust.” Lilly Pollard offers a few of such comedic musical interludes, sung beautifully (think Florence + the Machine, but with a ridiculous vicar wig) accompanied by the genius physical comedy of Izabella and Tutku’s intentionally awful and bizarre backup dancing. My only wish would have been for the final reprise to be perhaps a touch shorter and/or have an alternative bridge, since we’ve heard it before and it’s no longer sung in vicar garb. The comedy offered by all three women is so deeply enjoyable that we want to take advantage of every second on stage with them to hear something new.
Clingfilm is a perfect addition to anyone’s viewing schedule who’s looking for a laugh and to witness some up and coming comedic talent. These women could talk about virtually anything and make it funny; I look forward to seeing what they come up with next.