Review: Alice Cockayne: I Showered Before I Came

Varied hour of clown spectacle and daft physical comedy

comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Alice Cockayne | image courtesy of Underbelly
Published 20 Aug 2023

Alice Cockayne's latest Fringe show seems a little broad and scattergun to be a satire on capitalism and corporate life as such. Yet it's a varied, knockabout hour of clown spectacle and daft physical comedy, peopled by working women sweeping in and out of the office.

Trying to have it all, the professional and personal life, seems to drive you insane to judge from I Showered Before I Came. She hammers away on her keyboard with distracted abandon and opens the show by emerging from under a phantom-like sheet to proffer biscuits to the front rows, the promise of a treat offset by the vague sense of threat in the offing. That said, it's the audience interactive elements that keep the show ticking over, with Cockayne taking the whole crowd on one particular wild goose chase, a bathetic bit of mischief that she pulls off with aplomb. Elsewhere, a couple of spotlight bundles of fluff (guinea pigs maybe, aforementioned in the show anyway) offer a gossipy commentary whenever Cockayne is offstage, setting up the next sketch.

Swooping and pirouetting about her venue in her striking get-up, bouncing off her own authoritative voiceover, she's an arresting performer. But this often inexplicable show feels like a series of disconnected set-pieces rather than a satisfying, coherent artistic vision.