Underbelly, Bristo Square
Aug 10-11, 13-25 (15.10)
Material: Delivery: Laughs: Room:
In her show, Romantic, Flora Anderson humorously explains that from her middle-class upbringing in Islington, she gained a posh accent, a private school education and an excruciating awareness of her privilege. She came out of university believing she could become like her heroes Keats, Wordsworth and Byron, but when she came back to London she found that her artistic goals might be only romantic fantasy. Now she is balancing her opposition to the horrors of capitalist society with her need to be able to pay for housing.
I found Flora’s story very relatable, being born into a similar economic and social status. I found it interesting to know that other people are feeling torn between the romantic artist’s life and the reality of surviving when rent is £1000 a month. Flora does a great job of baring her soul to her audience and she has important things to say. Her jokes are good, but not hilarious. She seemed a little nervous at times, but this added a little charm and I believe she will become more confident as the Fringe continues. In her closing section, she taps into some creative spirit which tied the whole hour together and impressed me.
The tension between privilege and art was the theme I walked away from Romantic thinking about. I have actually noticed this tension as an overall theme at Edinburgh Fringe 2019. It seems all of the middle class comedians are trying to come to terms with their privilege. Is it right for us to be having a laugh while others are living in oppression? Flora Anderson can’t answer that question, but her show offers an intelligent and funny take on the tension a lot of us are feeling right now.