Weird Lonely Strangers

The Tuxedo Cat - Green Room. 27 Feb 2012

Billed in the fringe guide as a tender, sexy, silly & sad satirical sketch comedy from critically-acclaimed solo performer, this production could not have been further from its write up.

Writer and performer Sarah Quinn has sadly rested on her laurels this Fringe, and taken her audience for granted after what appear to be rave reviews and critical acclaim for previous shows. It is clear that Quinn is talented, and that with the right amount of focus and effort she could produce some amazing work, but Weird Lonely Strangers is under-rehearsed, under-directed and completely misses it objective.

When watching this show you might try to imagine yourself at a live performance of Little Britain, where the characters are all odd-ball, sad, lonely and outcast, but so eccentric and over the top that they are hilariously funny. Quinn has observed humanity in the same kind of way, and created a show loosely based around a group of unfortunate strangers – the kind of people you would normally avoid or simply ignore.

Reading half the time from pages of notes or prompt cards Quinn trips over words and phrases which she should know had her preparation been more thorough; forgetting to bring on props for new characters; forgetting to remove them for others; and general technical issues which would be ironed out by more rehearsal were frustrating to say the least, the inability of the microphone to stay in its holder however was the highlight of the night.

The use of recorded voice overs were occasionally effective – but entirely overused, on one occasion playing as long as 10 minutes whilst the stage was left empty and in darkness. It was clear that audience members were struggling with the concept as they got up and left mid performance.

This show has the potential to improve as the run progresses and Quinn becomes more familiar with her characters and her script. Some in the audience of 8 seemed to enjoy it. We left just before the bow.

Paul Rodda

When: 1 Mar to 18 Mar
Where: The Tuxedo Cat - Green Room