The Goblins Brianna Williams refers to are those of the psyche and form the basis of this interactive, autobiographical, one woman sketch show. We encounter all manner of unhinged characters as we explore the social minefield that is the modern world and all the anxieties that go along with it.
This show involves audience interaction for almost all of the sketches; a clever device for making this performance something more than a series of monologues. Don’t expect this to be a fully improvised show where she uses all the skills acquired whilst working with the Big HOO-HAA.
On this particular night Williams was working with a rather timid crowd so it was nice to see her put the volunteers put at ease; never pushing beyond their comfort zones with the jokes firmly at her characters’ expense.
With a script that she needs to follow, the questions are often loaded to get to where she needs to be. If an assistant wanders off script she gently nudges them in the right direction, laughs off their comment using the bitchiness of the character or simply cuts them off. Another method of getting out of a scene involves presenting a challenge few can hope to pull of successfully so both parties save face when fails. God help her if she encounters a rowdy mob, each wanting to be the centre of attention!
In some of the scenes audience input is vital to the narrative, particularly in one scenario where the punters seem to do all of the work. Williams’ ability to provide a witty quip to a response is brilliant when she chooses to do so and repeatedly calling on the same “volunteers” allows her to involve them in overarching storylines with wonderful results.
There are times when the scenes tend to outstay their welcome, even when there is a decent payoff at the end. Sometimes this is a heavy handed method of getting the joke across but the repetition often demonstrates the nagging doubts of the character. It may be consistent with the theme but Williams does so at the expense of laughs, resulting in nervous titters rather than the bigger response she was aiming for.
Mining both high and low culture for humour there is plenty to tickle your fancy. This is a fun hour presented by a charming and witty performer.
Little Mountain Goblin is on at Belleville until April 2