Claire Ford: Unboxed

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The Caves
Aug 12th-26th (14:00)

Material: four-stars.png Delivery: four-stars.png  Laughs: four-stars.png


If there’s one thing you can’t flaw Ms Ford on it’s her honesty. Largely. Her show is based around the mostly true story of her life up to this point and she doesn’t spare any of the grisly details. The unboxed of the title refers to her father who was CEO of a box making company. I wouldn’t want to reveal anything more about the story in case I spoil the numerous surprises – suffice to say that her life is a lot more interesting than a few cardboard boxes. The big hearted Ms Ford tells her story with a delightful whimsy and energy while not shying away from darker territories and the pathos that goes with any show this revealing. I have rarely seen a comic being this candid about their personal life and it was certainly refreshing.  It is also apparent that she has a reasonable amount of experience in the field and I regret not seeing her previous show Kagool which, if this show was anything to go by, I’m sure would have been a treat for the senses. And treat for the senses it was. The stage set comprised solely of an unpromising stack of cardboard boxes. But they were soon brought to life with imaginative projections and ingenious sound design.

When I was 5 my Dad took me to his huge warehouse in the Fens in East Anglia. It was full to the ceiling with cardboard boxes and he said to me ‘one day all of those will be yours’.
Read the full interview

However, what really made this show stand out was the unexpected twist towards the end of the second act. I don’t want to give too much away but a shift in tone was created quite suddenly and to great dramatic effect. The M Night Shyamalan of comedy if you will. Certainly a brave move and one that, in less skilled hands, could have been disastrous. But all credit to Ms Ford she unshirkingly (is that a word?) stared into the void and the void stared right back. Only at us, the audience who, rather than recoiling, leaned in and pricked up our senses in anticipation of what would follow. Don’t be fooled by the cardboard boxes and apparent infatuation with Philip Schofield this comedian is anything but dull. If you can handle the truth, and maybe a little bit of R Kelly, this shows for you.

Victor Pope

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