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Rose [Live] - Mummy's Plastic (Fringe World 2024)

Reviewed by Kate O'Sullivan

 

Tonight's the night. It's the last night of Rose [Live], one last chance to salvage her late-night talk show and be the star she has always wanted to be. Mummy's Plastic have brought a wonderfully absurd take on the late-night show format, with the tropes you want, the chaos you need and an ending you won't quite expect.


Whilst this show is not going to be for everyone, it is definitely a fun night. Rose herself is a delight, treading the line of "too much" so deftly that she had us eating out of her hand, preempting the cue cards' on the screens. She reads the room well, picking up what the audience is feeling and riding that wave to hilarious effect. There is a good amount of audience interaction, and clever 'scene changes' using fun advertisements that even land us a throwback later in the show. I would recommend sitting as centrally as you can, just so you don't miss what's going on on the screen at centre stage, as the Spiegeltent layout can make those edge seats a little tricky from that perspective, but Rose skillfully includes the whole audience in her presentations, moving around the space with ease.


Crowd work is always a risky thing to tackle, especially in a small venue like the Little Palais. Rose does an excellent job of warming up the crowd and shows a real mastery of audience consent protocols, something that can be forgotten about so easily but can make such a difference for an audience. The audience interaction therefore felt comfortable and easy, giving everyone in the sold-out space permission to really get involved. I will say that this did not hold true of the guest the night I saw the show, who, whilst dressed only in a leather harness and jockstrap, moved throughout the audience and somewhat shattered the audience trust that had been built up. It left the audience feeling a little unsure of how to respond in the second half and demonstrated how important this kind of trust-building and these protocols are. Rose did manage to pull us back on-side, but it did leave an air over the second half of the show which was unfortunate (and should by no means be attributed to the main cast or creative team). I will note, that this guest is not returning in the remaining shows.


I don't want to spoil too much of the details of the show, but it soars from hilarity and chaos to emotive and meaningful with ease - Rose has crafted out a lovely arc so the ending feels earned, as do the highs and lows of the performance.


All in all, this show is well worth seeing. An intimate venue, packed out with laughter and enjoyment in the absurdity. Jump on in and be part of the 'live studio audience' and I'm sure that Rose will be a character we'll all be talking about, long after Rose [Live] is over.


Rose Kingdom-Barron (Rose)

Reviewer Note: Tickets for this review were provided by the theatre company.

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