Cam Spence @ Pleasance Courtyard

Disappointing hour of characters from debutante Cam Spence

Review by Polly Glynn | 09 Aug 2019
  • Cam Spence @ Pleasance Courtyard

Welcome to the Sunshine Clinic, where all your dreams will come true neuroses will be examined. Owned by the somewhat Northern and majestically-named Janet Waitrose, we meet other ‘patients’ in the room and those who stumble into the clinic, also played by Spence.

We spend the most time with Janet, a Marjorie Dawes-cum-Pauline-from-League-of-Gentlemen character with Princess Diana hair but little bite. She sends out a few barbs into the audience, calling someone a ‘one-armed gremlin’ (unnecessarily cruel) but Spence seems more interested in this character being a control freak, than in control of humour in the room. For a creation like this, there’s clearly comedy to be milked as above, but perhaps the ‘nasty female leader’ character has had its day.

Luckily, relief comes in the form of some Art Therapy where, to the audience’s credit, some interactive fun is to be had, as well as some enjoyable visual jokes from Spence’s interaction with the screen behind her.

However, both her ‘American Feminist’ and ‘Sex-addict War Correspondent’ characters are devoid of jokes, and need to be much bigger and more eccentric to hold their own. There’s some amusing content from the last character we’re introduced to – Sue, the Swedish-ish businesswoman. With an accent plucked straight from Natasia Demetriou (Sexy American Girls / Internet Nails / What We Do in the Shadows), there’s some great surreal questions about eggs and a love poem to international superstar Richard Branson. It’s a shame that this only takes up a tenth of the hour, but at least helps the show pick up a bit of momentum near the end.

For the most part, Sunshine Clinic verges on tumbleweed territory, with swathes of dead air between characters and jokes. With only four characters on display, you’d expect a bit more fleshing out of personalities and, importantly, far more laughs.

Cam Spence: The Sunshine ClinicPleasance Courtyard (Bunker Three), until 25 Aug (not 12), 4.30pm, £8-11