Kat Bond: Loo Roll

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Pleasance Courtyard (That)
6-28 Aug 17:45
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Loo Roll is the name of Kat Bond’s first solo comedy show at the Fringe. The white stuff is draped everywhere in the room and Bond is about to use it to take us on a wild adventure. That’s after she climbs out of the green wheelie bin, that is. Bond is the star of Channel 4’s Comedy Blaps, BBC’s Call the Midwife and many others, and brings her years of experience to her one-woman show. Directed by Matthew Crosby, Loo Roll is an hour of off-the-wall mini skits that somehow loosely knit together by the end. Her irrepressible energy channels itself through the guise of a range of disparate characters, aided by just a few rolls of loo roll, a couple of vests and the wheelie bin.

Bond first metamorphoses into Pat, an alter ego who’s plaintive and slightly unhinged, due to being left in a bin outside a Papa John’s in Luton as a baby. ‘Pat’ aims her bright-eyed beam into the audience as she continues her desperate search for her family, asking ‘Are you the dog?’, ‘Are you my dad?’ The laughs start early, as the audience are drawn in with friendly and silly questions, and stay on her side until the end.

Bond leaps manically from character to character, layering voices and movement onto a white androgynous outfit of a lacy blouse tucked into sports shorts. You don’t quite know what’s going to come at you next, as she wraps her head in toilet paper for a quick gag about Van Gogh, or has a laugh at the trope of the scullery maid endlessly peeling potatoes through the centuries. This allows for wild spontaneity and a sense of excitement, but overall lacks a sense of coherence. The show relies on a great deal of audience participation, but none of it likely to ever be mean or embarrassing. The audience were game for playing along with her, too, almost to the point that had you wondering if they were planted there by Kat herself.

Without a doubt, her thorough acting background and clown training comes to the fore. From Tabby Crab, her rambling ‘loo roller’ mentor, creating endless ridiculous stories from rolls of the white stuff, to Bill the footie loving bin man, looking slightly crazed as he looms towards you. Her intense expressions pull you into her world of lovable and manic characters, making some sideways social commentary along the way. Her physical theatre skills are excellent; an energetic impression of am overeager dog sends one audience member over the edge into uncontrollable hysterics.

While the show may lack in coherence, it’s brimming with cheer and good-heartedness. You leave feeling happy, as you check your feet to see if you are dragging any of those strips of discarded loo roll along with you. You’re likely to be leaving with a big smile. You’ll certainly never look at loo roll the same way again.

Reviewed by: Lisa Williams

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