Barons Court Theatre (venue)
16 April 2022 (released)
20 April 2022
Following recent showings at The Hen and Chickens and The Etcetera Theatre, expectations were high for this two-week run by the writer and performer already touted as the Spanish Phoebe Waller-Bridge. For this reviewer though, it was because of the risk of disappointing critics against such expectation that the triumph of this one-woman show was all the more impressive; undeniably due to Cova Camblor’s writing ability and razer-sharp comic instinct on stage.
With the bulk of the monologue directed towards an off-stage priest, a pandemic-era online zoom wedding provides the set-up for Carmen’s revelations of past and present relationships, which, by exploiting a mixture of touching candour and genuinely shattering plot-twists, explore the anguish and hope of someone desperately seeking the right person, and the associated pitfalls and confusion apparent for a Spanish woman dating in England.
The latter is a ripe source for humour, with a mixture of sharp cultural references and word-play keeping the performance refreshingly accessible to English and Spanish audiences alike. However, the real success is the way the comedy beats throughout the whole performance, which employs elements of physical acting and clowning, while not detracting from the storytelling and emotion necessary for the performance to work.
The revamped format for the performances at Barons Court which includes a warm up by MC host Gabby Oligram plus a rotation of stand-up acts is well thought out and meshes together well as a showcase for the headline act to leave the audience feeling as if the full set of boxes were ticked for the whole event.