Writer and Performer: Alice Marshall
Reviewer: Paul Couch
Self-styled relationship guru Greta Medina doesn’t take prisoners. When it comes to dealing with your Significant Other – whether they know they hold that position or not – she wants you to shape up or ship out. ”People are arseholes,” she barks, “get used to it.” And indeed, they are, as explained by several people on a video screen.
Alice Marshall’s alter-ego is rarely on stage. We first get to meet Medina by video that has all the production values of a 1970s porno flick. Greta’s links are a clever way of giving Alice time to slip backstage and switch to one of her many other personas – Unity De La Touche, a perma-sozzled society crone with a martini glass and a wicked tongue; Louise, an terminally awkward, ‘plain’ young woman with a permanentlystartled expression trying to get tips on her first date; The bad actor-turned-comic who could give some of our soap leading men a run for their money and, the best of the bunch, a deliciously cruel Cheryl Cole (sorry…’Fernandez-Verscini’) whose ego is only exceeded by the size of her vast shoulder pads. The Geordie accent is spot-on, as is the self-absorption and well-rehearsed pouting at male members of the audience. Pet.
Marshall is a consummate veteran of the comedy circuit and it shows. Some of the turns in Vicious are more successful than others and the video drop-ins of people, not characters, talking about the worst things others have said or done to them tend to break the moment. One was dumped by text, another told by her mother that, given her time over, she wouldn’t have had children, and a man who seems to have a pathological hatred of the singer Sting. Well, we’ve all encountered similar, so…
Despite its minor flaws, Vicious is a great little fringe show in the safe hands of a skilled comedienne. It could develop even further given a bit of a re-working from an objective eye. There are certainly far worse ways to spend an hour.
Reviewed on 10 May 2016. Vicious returns Brighton Fringe on 26, 30 May 2016 | Image: Contributed