It is no surprise that Katherine Jakeways, a sometime presenter on GMTV, should be so effective at playing insincere and deluded types. Her first Fringe show borrows the stories of real people, such as a bossy but oleaginous sex therapist, a sad Cliff Richard fanatic who stole to feed her soft-rock addiction, and an unfortunate mother who was imprisoned after an air-rage incident.
The morality of her appropriations aside, there are a few great moments. Dr Coral Cox's use of the word "quimsy" to describe a certain part of a lady will live in my vocabulary, and a filmed segment in which her Cliff worshipper visits the cast of a musical based on the Sainted One's life is highly effective. Jakeways, in the guise of the news reporter Rosie Balls, makes, unsurprisingly, a brilliantly vacuous vox-pop interviewer.
Although the script sometimes wanders, and her acting occasionally whiffs of drama-school exercises, this is a promising start. But your tolerance threshold for what is little more than a showreel, with its slick video inserts between costume-changes, will colour your view. In many ways, it's a cynical exercise and horribly modern. Having come straight from the belly of the beast, Jakeways can be forgiven for knowing its wiles; but being it and berating it are different things.
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