Every student knows that finding a flat in Edinburgh can be hard, but nosing around other people’s homes in the flat touring process can almost make up for the dodgy landlords and mice that seem to haunt the streets of Marchmont. Well, I can bet that you’ve never been on a flat tour that exposes as much of its tenants’ (and your own) Dirty Laundry as this one does.
The Cambridge Footlights trio Robbie, Emily and Maddie take us on a house tour in the form of a brilliantly sewn-together sketch show that takes the audience on a wild journey featuring the ever-present threats of The Deposit, reluctant suffragettes and over-polite houseguests. The underlying political commentary in this show surfaces in the perfect moments and will leave you wanting more of their witty quips about the housing crisis, the state of modern relationships and the devastating consequences of daytime TV home renovation shows.
The trio manages to touch upon a great deal of contemporary issues in fifty-five minutes, not least global warming, sexism and capitalism, to name a few. Despite there being a lot of fun to be had at this show, throughout the numerous and wide-ranging sketches the show does not lose its focus on criticising political issues and doing so in a simultaneously poignant and funny way.
In fact, the amount of energy these three sustained throughout a show packed with character changes, accents, costume additions (namely leather jackets) and occasional bursting into hilarious and well-timed songs is one of the most impressive things about their performance.
Fringe crowds wildly differ from night to night, and unfortunately for the trio, audience energy levels are difficult to predict. On the night I saw this performance, the lack of energy from the audience let down some of the excitement of the show. A few more moments of direct speech and interaction with the audience would go down well in this production, especially as the show attracts a younger crowd who can often be a shyer audience. With that being said, the housemates didn’t let anything get in the way of their performance which did not fail to have me belly laughing throughout.
The way Robbie, Emily and Maddie perform together is refreshingly fun and exciting, and it is clear that they will go far with their hilarious and playful humour which encapsulates everything about what it is to be a young student today, but with slightly more ridiculousness! This show is something special!
Their black box set-up allowed for complete creativity and freedom, which they certainly had fun with. The show’s props were limited, but the cast’s ability to set a scene in mere minutes minimises any need for items. By the end, you are almost surprised that there are only four chairs on the stage, and that you haven’t actually been shown the secret corners and junk drawer of someone else’s flat.
Fun, clever and just the right amount of absurd, Dirty Laundry! is a must-see for students at the Fringe!
Catch Dirty Laundry at Greenside@Infirmary Street from the 15th-20th August (14+).
Image credit: Meat and Two Veg/Cambridge Footlights, provided to The Student as press material.