Writer: Rosalie Minnitt
Director: Tristan Robinson
Rosalie Minnitt found great success at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe with her one-woman show Clementine; a character comedy somewhat adjacent to a period piece – yet unlike anything you’ve seen before. Transferring to Soho Theatre, and having already extended its run, this might just be one of the hottest tickets in town.
The concept of the piece is simple: Lady Clementine is on the cusp of her 27th birthday… which also happens to be the deadline she has been set to find The One. What follows is the most outrageous exploration of self and society.
What makes Clementine such a remarkable experience is Minnitt’s incredibly strong vision for the piece. Her writing and performance style are utterly ridiculous and frequently nonsensical, yet her thorough commitment to the madness has the audience completely hooked.
There is also real intelligence in the silliness of the piece, with every stereotypical side-character, thought tangent, and misplaced pop-culture reference actually being very self-aware and carefully considered. You need to be very smart to play dumb this well.
Minnitt’s heightened characterisation as an entitled and delusional member of high society is uniquely unhinged and her comic timing is just perfection. What really wins the audience, however, is Minnitt’s ability to think on her feet as she interacts with the crowd. Constantly toying with viewers, these unpredictable interactions are destined to go awry; yet Minnitt takes it all in her stride, using the chaos as fuel for further hilarity.
A collection of simple design elements complement the production’s confused essence of ‘the past’: a modesty wall decorated with fairy lights, a fan that screams DADDY; not to mention the multimedia projections which frequently undercut the Bridgerton-esque plotline with contemporary memes and viral videos. Nothing makes sense, exactly as it shouldn’t.
Milked for all its worth and packed with more laughs than seems possible in an hour; Clementine is a masterclass in character comedy and a genuine workout for your lungs. Catch it while you can, because Minnitt’s stroke of genius is only going up from here.
Runs until 29 November 2023