Eggball

Fri 17th – Sun 26th August 2012

reviews

Mel Melville

at 10:38 on 21st Aug 2012

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Bouncy compère caterpillar hand puppets begin this wacky show and the intimate audience delves into a weird and wonderful world of this one woman rollercoaster. 'Eggball' is a rather peculiar character comedy complemented by a large element of clowning. Never before have I seen anything so daft and full of absolute nonsense – and yet, I had a truly fantastic time. Those caterpillar hand puppets provide the friendliest welcome you could ever wish as each caterpillar experiences a merry little bounce on everyone’s heads. 'Eggball' is a 16+ performance but I think that if the performer (Sonja Quita Double Day) simply toned down on the terrible ejaculation jokes then it would be a fanciful family show. This show relies entirely on the acceptance levels of the audience.

The show features a lady suffering with hoof hands; an Olympic sing-off; the teaching of dog language; a bipolar shark; and boxing with a ghost and an egghead. A surreal experience leaving you quite befuddled. Plenty of music features in this display of lunacy, where the characters sing pre-existing songs with different lyrics that are fantastically easy to guess. One of the ‘hit songs’ is all about an idea we are familiar with, transformed into a ludicrous song where dropping babies on the floor is the general theme. Another personal favourite is the crab trap song, an adaptation of Sister Sledge's ‘Lost in Music’. It’s not a conventional show, and many people who tag along will most probably leave: plenty of time watching Sonja's show could be spent questioning her sanity. The musical elements to the show are sometimes utter gobbledygook and the comedic spiel is always twaddle. It’s in your face and it’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea but it’s a potentially hilarious way to start the day, especially if you’re searching for a refreshing and new fringe experience.

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Thomas Brada

at 10:39 on 21st Aug 2012

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To call this a madcap comedy show a little strange would be to do it a great disservice. Strange is but the tip of the iceberg of this weird, wacky, wonderful, silly, surreal, frantic and fantastical little show starring the inimitable Sonja Quita Doubleday. Far be it for me, a high-flying reviewer with plural decades of experience and thousands of pages of published work to lapse into bias. Yet as soon as the eccentric but endearing Sonja dragged me onto stage while dressed as a crab with no concept of personal boundaries, I could not help but view this show through rose tinted specs.

Throughout the hour long performance, Sonja inhabits an eclectic mix of personas, ranging from the title-bearing 'Eggball' character to a personality-shifting shark. If I am honest, Sonja herself is far better than her material. She runs around the stage with the destructive energy of a hurricane and throws herself into each mad character with all the strength she can muster. When her personal store of immense energy coincides with her strongest material the show is a real treat; the aspirational horse whose hairdressing dreams are crushed by hooves for hands is a notable example.

The show is not polished and there is a lot of space for some of the weaker material to be critically pruned. But from the very beginning Sonja sets to put the audience at ease and keep them involved along with her characters at the very centre of her performance. It is this sense of intimacy with the audience which allows the show to rise to its comedic potential. Once the audience are complicit with the bizarre action, there is no limit as to how weird Sonja can push her comedy; if you think the performance is silly, then you, the audience, are also responsible for the silly mayhem which ensues.

A hard-hitting political satire this show is not. But for a solid hour, Sonja races around stage in a comedic frenzy with the musical accompaniment ably provided by the lovely Ariana. On a threadbare budget, Sonja manages to pull off a show which reeks of Eggballs, eccentricity and excellence.

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