The Problem With Faye Treacy

Thu 2nd – Sun 26th August 2018

reviews

Hugh Kapernaros

at 23:18 on 17th Aug 2018

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The problem with Faye Tracey is not Faye Tracey herself. The problem is, however, her dependency on a crowd to properly engage with her unique trombone comedy. She’s warm, relatable and the kind of person you’d proclaim as your best mate in a smoking area. However, her stand-up was let down by some shaky transitions, awkward jokes and a crowd that did her no favours.

She structures the show around tales of blunders from childhood to adulthood. With a catholic upbringing, failed attempts at clown-hood, dating failures and druggy nights in Croydon, Tracey’s humour is self-deprecating and honest, never pretentious nor hostile, and interspersed with cute little trombone-driven musical numbers.

Despite having all the familiarity of an old friend, her style was a no-go from a painfully boring audience. They were the kind that had to be explained what MDMA was, the kind that could barely muster up the energy to applaud for a performance of Nessun Dorma with a courgette, a carrot and a bell pepper, which I am sure was no easy feat. It was, indeed, a tough crowd. I had to bite my tongue at one point to avoid telling off a pair of younger girls checking Snapchat and trying to leave early.

Nevertheless, Tracey was a trooper. Despite some of her dirtier jokes feeling a bit cringe-worthy, and repeating the same “Donald Trump sucks” jokes I’ve heard umpteen times at the Fringe, she maintained her warm persona and battled through the show, leaving us with a lasting impression that this was a very good comic done bad by an unlucky night.

In a more hospitable, involved and younger crowd I’m sure she would’ve shined. That being said, maybe the mark of a good comic is being able to work with whatever environment they’re put into, no matter how bland. With a bit more polishing, a bit more confidence and a bit more adaptability, the only problem with Faye Tracey will be the ones that she endearingly puts forward in this easy-going and quirky show. Give it a shot.

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Lottie Hayton

at 10:35 on 18th Aug 2018

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'The Problem with Faye Treacy' is a musical comedy show consisting of a sweet collection of stories from Faye’s life. She relates her childhood, growing up among twelve foster siblings. Faye deftly coveys even the less relatable aspects of her life – for example, the feeling of being ever so slightly out of place as a member of National Youth Orchestra.

Faye’s one liners and tales, while endearing, don’t always have the audience in uproarious laughter. Her incredibly skilled trombone playing, however really takes the show to the next level. Such tracks as a theme tune for Donald Trump, incorporating Darth Vader’s march from Star Wars, are cleverly thought through.

The music occasionally disjoints the show and it is made a little less slick since, as Faye bemoans herself, she can’t speak and play – “trust me, I’ve tried”. Nonetheless, it gives Faye an edge in the competitive genre of storytelling comedy.

The slightly bizarre aspects of Faye’s show (at one point in a ‘vegetable exposition' she constructs and plays an instrument out of a cucumber, a pepper, and a carrot) also make her entertaining, and a little different to watch.

Faye’s audience engagement was good. Even when faced with an audience where some were less than willing to participate, her friendly manner endeared her to the members. Overall, whilst the material in this show could be improved, and the transitions from stories to music could be a little more seamless, this was an enjoyable and light-hearted way to spend an hour at the Fringe.

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