The Fringe is often criticised for charging audiences to excess for what is often thirty minutes of dribble from a socially dysfunctional school drop out. Showing for free, Caroline Mabey thankfully avoids the gut wrenching feeling the Fringe goer can get as they see their £10 die on stage in front of them in a hail of pointless, meandering froth. This act of mercy from Mabey may have inadvertently saved her life. The Porteous Riots – which sprang from the Scots unwillingness to pay for taxed booze in 1736 – would be nothing compared to the mob that could erupt if the Fringe started charging for shows like this.
It’s certainly stand up comedy in its most surreal state. Another way of saying this is that it’s a poorly thought out, rambling show which barely holds together. The central idea of the performance is Mabey’s relationship with coffee. Certainly the coffee your reviewer consumed half an hour prior to the performance was necessary to stop this review degenerating into a series of ‘Zzzzs’. Beyond this there isn’t even a hint of coherence. Perhaps she should stick to tea.
It’s free, and Mabey has undeniably got some charisma – although so do some ham sandwiches and turnips.