8 August 2009

Laura Solon - Rabbit Faced Story Soup

Four years ago Laura came out of nowhere and won the last Perrier Award (before it turned into the if.com Eddie Award).  This was a shade controversial to say the least.  She didn't acquit herself well at all during the comedy awards show, her act was apparently only suited for a tiny venue.  Couple that with the fact that the other nominees were very strong performers, the biggest scandal was that Phil Nichol's exquisite show “Nearly Gay” was completely overlooked and didn't secure a nomination despite being the best show in the last few years.  [Justice was finally done the following year when Phil won the inaugural if.com Eddie Award, much like Rhod Gilbert should do this year]. 

So after a couple of years away working on various BBC Radio shows, how does Laura's return stack up.  It's interesting to say the least.  Laura's play (and it is categorically a play) is about how she came to write the final chapter of an incredibly popular crime thriller novel.  By retelling this story she plays about eight different characters to different degrees to success.  Her literary agent is quite impressive, reminiscent of an aged Bebe from Fraiser.  Her voices are varied and interesting, although nothing close to the abilities that the Pajama Men are showing.  The story has some engaging parts and a few slow parts and whilst the humour is limited throughout the set she does has four or five very funny gags included.

In her time away Laura has become a much stronger performer with a greater range of writing and acting.  She seems very well suited for radio – and I don't mean she isn't aesthetically pleasing, she is.  She performs as if we are a different audience, without breaking the fourth wall, as you would in a radio play.  That is admitted one downside, her physical presence there seems almost redundant.  She is accomplished in what she does and entertains a decent sized venue of predominately middle-aged people, if you will your stereo-typical radio listeners.  Maybe if she had a co-writer it might have packed a bigger kick.  Smile-able, Radio-esque and pleasant - 7 out of 10 which is 3 stars, good but not great.