Any geographers attracted to this show under the belief that it is some kind of comedic look at the properties of soil will be sorely disappointed. This is a show of superb character comedy, cringe-factor humour, and possibly the worst idea for a television show ever concieved, but not, I am happy to say, about the details of soil erosion.
O'Doherty's solo performance is entirely in character, or at least I hope so, as the act is so well thought through it's difficult to imagine this is the product of anyone's imagination. O'Doherty's manic, deluded, insecure and utterly clueless alter-ego is a comedic creation to behold.
Her show is based around pitching to the audience the concept for a television show "What is Soil Erosion", set to run over five years. As O'Doherty fits in the whole half-decade's worth we are educated very little about soil erosion, and a lot about her character's failed attempt to become a "millennial wizard", her abilities to use rocks as puppets and the suggestion that she may or may not believe in "alians" [sic].
"What is Soil Erosion" reminds me of the brilliant cringe-making cluelessness of The Office combined with some of the weirder moments of "The Day Today" and the pseudo-scientific nonsense of "Look Around You" taken off into its own new direction.
O'Doherty's portrayal of the over-enthusiastic, humourless and possibly mentally unstable amateur is awe-inspiring, treading the thin line between comedy and tragedy beautifully. The show itself reflects this utterly bizarre character, bordering on the psychadelic at times, but always keeping the poorly-budgeted atmosphere in place, such that the fantastic comedic awkwardness has the audience giggling for the duration.
Claudia O'Doherty's "What is Soil Erosion" is brilliantly surreal, with an attention to nuanced acting and a character you half pity, half never wish to meet. It makes you laugh, even if you don't really know why, and if Claudia O'Doherty doesn't eventually get that television show, there is no justice in the world.
Show Times: Till 28th Aug, except 16th, 20:45
Ticket Prices: £10.00 (£9.00)