In Chick Ruby Thomas plays a wide variety of characters that show off her acting and comedy skills. Starting with the ‘edgy’ morning chat show host Simon she goes on to play all the important women in Simon’s life and is ably assisted by Chris Adlington in many supporting roles. The setting is a morning chat show with an odious host who needs to learn a lesson, but that’s just an excuse to set up a series of sketches exploring women’s place in society through the past century.
The stage is set when Simon makes an appalling sexist faux pas live on TV which is followed by a montage of amusing of celebrity magazine cover exposes of the next 18 months in his life, before Simon returns (contrite and calmed down) to present a special look back at the important women in his family. We are all magically transported through history and meet his great grandmother in 1912, who learned that talking to gentlemen on the telephone can be a profitable way of making money and releasing tension. His grandmother in 1941, who married a German and was unable to cure her unhealthy addictions, followed by his liberated aunt in 1969 who had a member of the audience in a very compromising position, his dominating cousin in 1986 who found the perfect job and his Welsh niece who is a pioneer vlogger. We finish with Simon’s sister Bindi, a trippy hippy conceptual artiste/singer/actor. They are all pretty entertaining characters, though there is no clever tying up of the premise at the end.
Ruby and Chris do a brilliant job in bringing all the characters to life (aside from the odd audience member dragged up on stage which seems to be obligatory these days), and there are laughs aplenty from the duo as they travel back and forward in time with a lot of very naughty sketches (especially the on-stage gynaecological examination and the phone sex). An entertaining debut Fringe performance that will no doubt improve as the Fringe progresses, and much better than the poster may indicate.
Chick is on at Just The Tonic at The Caves until August 28