Flora Anderson @ Underbelly Bristo Square

A romanticised life does not lead to a charmed future for Flora Anderson

Review by James Gladdis | 20 Aug 2019
  • Flora Anderson @ Underbelly, Bristo Square

In Romantic, Flora Anderson is crashing down to Earth after a life of romanticising her potential future and having to come to terms with the real world.

The audience is a little thin on the ground, and the minimal audience interaction in the show is hampered by focusing too much on a close friend sitting front and centre. Anderson’s delivery also leaves a lot to be desired. She comes across nervous and forgetful, with every other syllable being an ‘um’ or an ‘uh’. This is no more apparent than when – forty minutes in – Anderson refers back to a previous joke but unfortunately forgot to set up the initial joke leaving it to fall completely flat.

This is an hour over reliant on callbacks. That is by no means a bad thing on its own, but when the callbacks don’t add layers to the narrative they become wearing when referred to for the fifth or sixth time. It feels like tired, lazy writing. 

Romantic also suffers from feeling like it reaches a natural end more than once. And given the times where there’s a more organic ebb and flow to the show, the true ending we’re given feels all the more contrived.

There are glimmers amongst all of this though. Anderson is an eloquent, intelligent and passionate performer and Romantic does have to potential to be a great show. In its current form, it feels like a more than premature Fringe debut.

Flora Anderson: RomanticUnderbelly Bristo Square (Daisy), until 25 Aug, 3.10pm, £9-10