Carrie Quinlan
Carrie Quinlan

Carrie Quinlan review - Skinnyfest 1

4/5 stars
Event review by Vernon Baxter.
Published 14 August 2006

This is Carrie Quinlan's first year at the Fringe and Fear Of A Beige Planet must surely be a strong contender for Best Newcomer. Despairing at the direction western culture is heading (straight for Ikea, apparently) Quinlan's performance is one of confidence, erudition, gleeful humour and animated rabbits.

Overcoming some early technical hitches, Quinlan tramples hilariously along her selected path: the mediocrity of modern culture. As comedy is as much cultural artefact as anything else – and this is a festival celebrating culture after all - the central conceit could easily have undermined the performance but Quinlan's obvious intelligence and instinct for the absurd carries her through.

Arch-villains of the 'beige age' include Dan Brown, Piers Morgan and, amusingly, Natasha Kaplinsky. While Messrs Brown and Morgan are dispatched with witty aplomb, Quinlan reserves a frightening amount of vitriol for Kaplinsky, the beigest of "autocue ferrets". Some might argue that there are plenty of scenarios more fearful than a beige planet - a planet at war over cultural differences sounds pretty scary; maybe beige isn't so bad after all? Maybe they are right, but they won't be making anyone laugh anytime soon, a feat Quinlan achieves with ease.

[Vernon Baxter]

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