Sophie Willan: Novice Detective @ Zoo

Review by Tabatha Glancy | 15 Aug 2014
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Red and black decorate a retro detective’s office complete with trench coats and an evidence board setting the scene for Sophie Willan’s Novice Detective in front of a sell-out crowd at Zoo venue. Willan’s show is a combination of theatre, comedy and a bit of drama as she recounts the case of her missing father.

The show slowly reveals clues and evidence to discover who Willian’s father is, with plenty of blow-up items, glitter and a flash of pants along the way. An Edinburgh Festival virgin, her stories about a psychic, conspiracy loving grandmother artfully imitated and confusing those trying to crack the case with crazy theories.  The dreaded audience participation is plentiful, but with a light fun note instead of the usual cringeworthy interaction many comedians have while singling out the unwilling. The driving pace of the show kept things interesting, although the conclusion is a bit heavy after a light and funny first half, leaving a feeling of dissatisfaction on the way out.

She wears her heart on her sleeve, with a show about her life that feels authentic with her unique show format. Having just completed a 50 date tour across the UK before landing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, she’s also been commissioned to write a comedy pilot for BBC. The Bolton Comedian is smart, sassy and cute with genuine storytelling ability that draws people in to her past. A great comedy detective show for those who love detective shows.

Sophie Willan: Novice Detective @ Zoo, 1-10, 12-25 Aug, 12.15pm, £8