Eleanor Morton: Lollipop @ The Stand
It takes a brave soul to stand in front of a group of strangers and confess to having chronic anxiety, hypochondria and OCD. Eleanor Morton’s format is simple: chat to the audience about one’s problems and throw in a song or two. This would be a nerve-wracking feat for most people, but for someone who confesses to taking medication and seeing a therapist for social angst, a show like this requires serious balls.
The strongest element of Lollipop is, by far, Morton’s songs, which she sings to the accompaniment of her ukulele and keyboard. One song about clubbing is witty, tightly written and genuinely funny. Another, about office boredom, is melodic, moving and showcases a rather lovely singing voice. There’s shades of Laura Marling in her vocals and a touch of Josie Long to her storytelling style.
Some might find it all a tad too twee. Jokes about talking animals aren’t to everyone’s taste – a fact which Morton readily acknowledges – and there isn’t a great deal of depth to her stories, despite their potential. There’s not a drop of cruelty in this brand of humour; kindness oozes from Morton’s pores, and whether this is a strength or weakness of her material depends on the individual perceiving it.
Still in her early twenties, Morton has created an impressive, soul-baring Fringe debut, and with more songs and just a bit more edge, she could achieve something special. Even if she remains this sweet, her intriguing blend of self-therapy and enjoyable nonsense deserves an audience.