Review by Tatum Stafford
The first line of ‘Swan Song’s listing on the Fringe website is “A one-woman show – with two women.” This was enough to grab my attention and head along to their show on Sunday evening, and I’m SO glad I did as it was an absolute hoot.
The show stars Fiona Collinson and Jo Brodecki, two friends trying to ‘make it big’, who each have dreams of putting on their own show-stopping, transfer-enticing one-woman show at the Edinburgh Fringe. It just so happens, they’ve both booked the exact same venue and time for their show, and have no choice but to share the time and attempt to mash the shows together.
The most genius thing about ‘Swan Song’ is that both of these one-woman shows are practically polar opposites, yet when eventually blended, they give each performer so many fantastic opportunities to bounce off each other, show off their excellent comedic chops, and display their wide breadth of talents (including some impressive fight choreography, singing, and more prop work than you’d imagine before seeing it for yourself).
Fiona’s one-woman show is a dramatic, Fleabag-inspired show about a single woman in her 30s who has moved to the big city and dreams of finding love. In this show, we take a journey through Fiona’s past love(s) of her life, and get an insight into life as an actress auditioning in LA and New York. In contrast, Jo has dreams of making it on Saturday Night Live, and her show takes a more traditional stand-up approach, as she charts her journey from Christian summer camp to college and eventually losing her virginity in her 20s.
The concept is quite meta, but it pays off in spades. When the two one-woman shows combine, each actress plays characters in the others’ story, and it’s lightning fast and super funny to watch. The show eventually devolves into a fair bit of chaos, with one audience member next to me chuckling after the curtain call about how much clean-up of props they’d need to do at the end of each show – these props had a hilarious chaotic effect, which I very much enjoyed.
Both performers are captivating and bring plenty of enjoyable energy to the performance space. I particularly enjoyed both of their moments of physical comedy, which were hilarious and very well choreographed.
You won’t see the finale coming, and I won’t spoilt it here, but it’s well worth buying a ticket to see it for yourself. It’s a sensationally strong Fringe debut from these two talented performers who have tons of chemistry and are really fun to watch in this fantastic show. Don’t miss it!