This is a character-driven one woman show, and it is an utter joy to watch, once the audience relaxes. This show relies heavily on audience participation, so if you're of a nervous disposition, sit towards the back, and away from the fire escape. If, like me, you enjoy making a complete prat of yourself, sit at the front, wear lots of neon and regularly make eye contact with the performer. Regardless of how you watch this show, I guarantee that you will enjoy it. I imagine with a nervous, or perhaps a more up-tight audience, the show wouldn't be as fun.
Speaking of fun, I have never had the pleasure of watching a performer enjoy themselves as much as I did in this show. No, more than that - I've never seen someone get so gleefully giddy at their own jokes – Marny knows that she's being silly, and she absolutely owns it. As a member of the audience she makes you feel welcome, and builds an excellent relationship with all that attend. Her characters are distinctive, varied and... big. They fill the stage, the room and your heart. The costumes for the different characters are all visible on the stage (where the changes happen), but the characters are all completely unexpected. A personal favourite of mine was the "Hoover" Lady. I won't explain it, you'll understand when you get there.
While this show is a great deal of fun and silliness, there is a certain lack of polish that – while it was not sorely needed – would have added an air of professionalism to the performance. Most notably of which is that Marny has difficulty staying in character. This is a character-driven show, it's crucial that the characters remain strong, to maintain immersion for the audience, and even though it is wonderful to watch a comedienne crack up at her own jokes and silliness, it doesn't make it okay, nor does it make for an immersive experience. It would perhaps be permissible if it was a consistent part of the show, however this was not the case. Further, some aspects of the show seemed under-rehearsed, resulting in forgotten words, causing a break in pace, which again - while it can be funny if done on purpose - will disturb the experience when done inconsistently and accidentally.
This show is hilarious. If you're up for a bit of joining in and getting a little bit more naked than you're perhaps comfortable with – maybe that was just me – then go watch this show. Fan of silliness? Go watch this show. Looking for comedy that oozes professionalism and slickness, then this show will probably not be for you. It's not perfect, but it doesn't need to be perfect to be fun. It just has to be fun.
Marny Godden: Flap 'em on the Gate is being performed in the Cowgate Underbelly, and runs every day of August except the 18th and 31st. Performances start at 17:20 and run for an hour. Tickets cost £9.00 Monday-Thursday and £10.00 Friday-Saturday. Seating isn't allocated, so I recommend you get there nice and early to get a good spot!