Father-daughter duo Leslie and Ruby Carr are crashing into their debut Fringe performance with an intergenerational mash-up of Artificial Intelligence themed observational comedy. Armed with a working memory of dial-up and computer coding reliant on the Royal Mail, Leslie is the self-proclaimed representative of the Boomer generation in this fledgling partnership, bringing to it a steady contrast to Ruby’s Gen-Z, internet-based upbringing. Together, they cover ground from the shocking commercialisation of the early 2000s phenomenon Stardoll, to the more deliberately nuanced intricacies of AI based learning. An unconventional mix, the show has an infectious energy which cleverly blends the theoretical and inane with a hearty wit.
Introducing each other through a collection of familial anecdotes, including how Ruby had her sixth birthday party, and cocktail sausages, irrevocably ruined by her father, the pair easily warm the stage and establish a comforting dynamic which prevails throughout. From here, the show splits into alternating sections, as the two take it in turns to deliver individual sets – although not without each offering the occasional riotous cheer from the side-lines.
In his, Leslie leans naturally into his role as a university Professor of Web Science by delivering a series of humour-infused mini-lectures on the rising uses of artificial intelligence. Explained using a collection of astute, predominantly food based, analogies, Leslie moves with ease from explaining how AI has learnt to be as fundamentally lazy as humans, to how an escapee Roomba vacuum cleaner could be the first step towards an AI takeover, and the surprising use of an artificially intelligent sex toy. Delivered with a nervous gleam, his set was as fascinating and factual as it was funny, and proved that observational comedy thrives when focused on an incredibly nuanced topic brought to life with an energetic and endearing nerdiness.
The more seasoned of the two, Ruby brings an infectious energy and steady stream of animated stories to the stage. Her own AI experience is less concerned with the technicalities of rising intelligence, than with how an AI toothbrush serves as the epitome of a bad Tinder Bio, and the joy of growing up with the shining light of online gaming – Club Penguin. With the ease of her quick witted to-and-fro with the audience, you wouldn’t expect this to be one of her first times back on stage since Lockdown, and any slight freezes were covered with endearing idiosyncrasies and humorous charm. Breaking slightly from the overarching theme, Ruby also injected the show with a deluge of sharp-witted reflections on neurodiversity and life as a teaching assistant, as well as concluding with a gleefully acted anecdote about dating a 6’8 man who may or may not have been taking life advice from The Princess Diaries.
The comforting insight into this hilarious father-daughter dynamic, alongside the refreshing theme of this performance, certainly makes it one to watch, and perhaps one worth taking your own father along to.
‘Carr Crash: Father / Daughter Comedy’ will be performing at Greenside @ Infirmary Street – Olive Studio August 7th-13th, 15th-20th, & 22nd-27th. Times vary.
Image credit: Ruby Carr, provided to The Student as press material.