Anna Nicholson – Woman of the Year

By Ron Bingham 

An idea for a reality show in a Fringe show that takes a character sketch show to a more interesting level.  Anna Nicholson is staging an entertaining competition to find the Woman of the Year where she  introduces and plays the four finalists in the competition and the audience get to pick the winner.

The characters are all memorable with distinctive regional accents which Anna pulls off brilliantly. Denise, the professional bra-fitter; Bianca, the Geordie Instagram star and Vlogger; Reverend Ruth, the pushily friendly vicar; and Shirley, the overly excitable geriatric from Yorkshire. Each is given two chances to influence the audience, to get their vote, and Anna also plays with a member of the audience as herself.

Also on stage, is piano player Bobby Goulder backing Anna admirably, as her various persona’s belt out their signature songs. Anna’s various costume changes were swift and theatrically interesting and there was hardly a pause in the flow of the show.

Anna is a charming comic performer who played all the characters superbly, the jokes were funny and well timed, the songs were well executed and the whole show was lively and family friendly. The audience joined in with the fun at the appropriate moments and a winner was chosen.

Woman of the Year is in Just the Spare Room at The Caves, which is very much the same size and shape of a railway carriage at peak hour, the only difference being nobody is standing up and there is no ventilation. Very hot and stifling, even for an Edinburgh Fringe venue. It was an enjoyable show that managed to help make you forget the discomfort, but I heartily recommend bringing a fan and some water.

Anna Nicholson performs Woman of the Year at Just the Tonic at The Caves til August 26.