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Edinburgh Fringe 2023

Ouroboros: The Return

Charlotte Fox

Genre: Clown, Comedy, Physical Theatre

Venue: Underbelly


Low Down

Ouroboros: The Return is a one woman show written and performed by clown and character comedian Charlotte Fox.


A woman has to be everything, beautiful, thin, smart, funny, unique. And for an actress this is amplified, as she has to embody all these qualities on a stage for the world to see. In Ouroboros: The Return, Charlotte Fox boldly explores these themes and takes them to their hyperbole version, venturing into the surreal. It’s a one woman show about an actress trying or reinvent herself, attempting to find what makes her special in an industry that chews and spits people up. This will prove incredibly confusing to decipher and even harder to achieve. The high expectations and pressure makes her collapse into an eating disorder, addiction, mental health struggles and suicidal ideation. But she will discover a double edge weapon; you can exploit your hardships in the entertainment industry. The tale is told through little vignettes that could seem disjointed but all have a very strong theme, showing how the expectations for women in show business can make you crazy. Charlotte takes each situation to the extreme, the bizarre, the animal. Every scene becomes a tea party with the mad hatter, equally funny and disturbing.

Fox is exceedingly talented, she is a clown, a physical performer and a superb dramatic actress. Her performance skills are side-splitting as well, she truly has a gift for finding comedy in the darkest topics. Each role is tackled with virtuoso characterisation and unparalleled commitment. From the more mellow characters to the animals, you believe everything she is doing on stage. A few costume changes and props distinguish every character, although not essential, as the exaggerated interpretations alone clearly define each one in this ambitious one woman show. The lights and sound are a key compliment for the weirdness and matched the tone perfectly.

The story is a surreal whirlwind that is just as heart-breaking as it is hilarious. Fox bravely brings you into her mind and shows scenes more akin to feeling than reality, and extremely powerful to witness in a live setting. You can feel the overwhelming nature of being an actress, becoming a product you need to hone to appeal to everyone in an industry led by people too far removed from performing. Some of the characters and sketches might not be incredibly original, but the places where she takes them are, into the peculiar and the unknown. Fox tells her story in a brilliantly distinctive way, like only she can, joining all her multiple skills and bearing her soul to us.

This might not be a show for everyone though. It has a lot of ideas, characters and tangents. Connecting with Fox as a performer and a storyteller is key, letting go and trusting her in all her strange decisions will pay off. A simpler story and toned down characters would make this show more approachable, but that would dim the unique light that is Charlotte Fox. I for one would like to see her sharpen her already vast talents into a more structured storyline, instead of vignettes, one plagued with her outlandish characters and wonderful weirdness.



Show Website

Charlotte Fox