FRINGE – Clare Ford – ConsciousMess – 2K

Clare Ford brings a huge amount of energy to her one woman show. Located in the Red Room above the Austral Hotel the show has an intimate but vibrant feel. Immediately as you enter it is sensory overload. You find yourself faced with a woman wearing flippers and a snorkel, lit in a myriad of colours from the lighting; all while being blasted by an audio recording.

The show delves into the modern conscious; fears, paranoia, stress and elation. These concepts were explored, but never taken as far as possible. Ford’s characters portrayed her mental nuances well and some of her material was well written and presented, but she failed to fully engage the audience; leaving large segments of her show underperformed.

Ford’s exploration of women’s role in society and the pressures placed upon them was edifying and involved several enjoyable gags. This could have been flashed out more and become a larger theme of the show.

There were technical complications but Ford managed to not only work through these but actually draw humour from them. The lighting gave the feeling of being in a disco while the sound was slightly too loud, leaving some of her jokes fuzzy and unclear.

Clare Ford decorated the stage with a variety of odd items, most of these were included in the show but some simply added to the atmosphere. Her performance relied on a number of these items, some of which contributed little to the humour or feel of the show overall. At some points the feeling arose that Ford was being weird for the sake of it, trying to be so unreal and outlandish in order to gain laughs; this unfortunately had a contrary effect.


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