REVIEW: SOOZ KEMPNER: A BIT OF A CHARACTER (Just The Tonic at The Caves) ★★★★★


Comedian Sooz Kempner returns to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the third year running after her critically acclaimed shows ‘Defying Gravity’ and ‘Character Activist’. This year she gives us not one but two separate shows, ‘Queen’ and a revised version of last years show ‘A Bit of a Character’.

This show presents four very different people. In-between each one, we see videos of the real Sooz, at home with her cat, talking about herself and the characters she has created. This is a nice way to see the real person behind the characters without her having to become one of them herself, in order to tell the story.

The character of Malcolm comes with the legal disclaimer that he is definitely not based on Sooz’s real life estranged father. He tries his hand at stand up comedy for the first time with jokes about his ex wife and daughter who needs to give up the idea of being a comedian and get a real job.

Pixie is an Instagram Sensation who appears to be doing very well on the surface until the cracks start to show and questions are raised over just why every post seems to have had the exact same amount of likes.

Phylidia is a so called Fashion Blogger. i.e. a rich kid who was born into money and has never had to want for anything in her life. Self-obsessed and looking down on the world around her, the only thing important in her life is making sure everyone around her knows that she is above them.

Kris Richardson – the toughest girl in Musical Theatre, tells us just how hard it is to make it in the West End and gives her top tips on how to survive. The show ends nicely with a Skype conversation with Sooz, and ending on a musical duet between the two.

Sooz Kempner has heavily redeveloped these characters since last year, switching out some of the ones that didn’t work so well and adding new ones. Whilst last years show was brilliant, the characters that have now been replaced were weaker, which is why the show only got four stars from me last time. This year however, it is a rip-roaring hour of hilarity, with brilliant characters and a show I could watch over and over again. A Bit Of A Character has been tirelessly worked on and is now in its ultimate incarnation.

Just brilliant and one not to be missed.

Reviewed by West End Wilma

Sooz Kempner: A Bit Of A Character plays at Just The Tonic at The Caves until 28 August 2016 (not 15th). And it’s FREE! Non ticketed so just turn up at 4pm.