4 – 30 Aug 14.45 (15.45) @ Pleasance Beside
A sometimes hit-and-miss collection of sketches is performed by the undeniably talented Helen O’Brien, Rosie Wilkinson and Genevieve Swallow.
The show is still written by Wilkinson and O’Brian, but this year the wonderfully named and recently initiated Genevieve Swallow makes up the Domestic Goddi trio. Drafted in last year as maternity cover for Wilkinson, she’s proved her worth and been allowed to stay.
Some very funny moments come from a huge variety of characters. A semi-psychotic game-show hostess urges an audience member to ‘guess the mince’. Horribly accurately portrayed airheaded teens drawl their way through a summer picnic, and a drunken miscellaneous-Eastern-European-accented bride gives the wedding speech many must have longed to give.
The sketches are all good, but they lack somewhat in belly laughs. Often they need a more confident ending: the lighting was mistimed several times, unfairly cutting some final flourishes, but there could still have been more clarity and less tailing-off.
Characters ranging from Irish folk-club hostess to loom-worker are well defined, and their various accents and distinguishing quirks are well rehearsed and suitably outlandish. There are some very clever ideas that make you randomly smile a few hours later on recall – the Top Gear spoof is probably the highlight of the show: witty, and proof that these are comedians who can serve up value-for-money entertainment.
There’s not a huge amount of Domestic Goddess-ing going on – middle class pushy parents and a recently separated mummy are the closest it really gets, and some sketches are without the faintest link in any way to the title (pandas?). It’s not really a Wonderland either; that’s a relatively tenuous title linked to a couple of the sketches. It’s just a series of funny – to various extents – skits, well written, well rehearsed, and well acted. It might not be groundbreaking, but it’ll amuse you for an hour.