Writer: Carly Tarett
Reviewer: Jo Beggs
Carly Tarett has developed a successful formula to showcase her comedy skills. Last year’s Life which explored the possibility of life on other planets was a real high point of the Greater Manchester Fringe as Tarett delivered a great evening of intelligent comedy creating a show where character comedy meets sketch comedy.
Sinful is actually a return to an earlier show which Tarett performed at the Lass O’Gowrie a couple of years ago although must have some updates as there’s current references, particularly to politics. Taking each deadly sin in turn, she brings us a cast of characters, each of which gives her the chance to demonstrate a great range of regional accents and accomplished physical comedy skills. Her over-zealous fitness instructor puts you in mind of Joyce Grenfell as she delivers a one-sided conversation with a class of lethargic ladies, as does her inappropriate story-telling teaching assistant, although Joyce never used language like this! A sketch in which Tarett plays two East End gangsters is particularly successful, not only in its narrative twist but in her clever solo delivery of a duologue. Lust takes an unexpected turn when we find that the subject of a party guest’s affection isn’t quite what we expected, and the PM delivers a speech that demonstrates Tarett’s sharp, satirical writing skills.
Best moments, though, are a curtain-twitching busy-body who offers us scandalous stories of her neighbour’s antics, love life and bank account, but who turns out to be a bit less on top of things than she thinks, and the final sketch in which Tarett creates a singer-songwriter who’s so lazy she can hardly be bothered to finish her songs. Her “Two sheets on Andrex” lament about the resistance to use the last sheet of loo paper – only leading to the irritating need to replace the roll – shows Tarett to be a great comedy song-writer. A list of “other songs from the album” are probably the best one-liners in the show. More of this character would be welcome, in fact, she could probably very successfully sustain a whole hour.
Sinful doesn’t quite pack the punch that Life did. The sketches are not quite as sharply written and it hasn’t got the same level of energy, but Tarett is a talented comedy performer and certainly leaves you wanting more.
Runs until 23 July 2014