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  • Dress Circle Reviews

A Masterclass with Cumley St. Claire: Freeing the Florist Within

You are welcomed to be part of the studio audience for the recording of a TV show with Cumley St. Claire, the notorious florist. You are told from the start it will be “simply divine” which is emphasised by the beautifully arranged set.

The show focuses on Cumley St. Claire as they start their masterclass recording taking is through different flowers and their meanings. This regularly links to a story in their life and the flowers become a tool to introduce those stories. The show centres on Cumley St. Claire’s stories and their reaction to the actions of their TV production crew. The show is introduced with a short piece of well thought out pre-recorded material. Although I like live theatre to be live it’s good to see times where live theatre and recordings can complement each other.

It is in the most part a monologue. The script is filled with comedy and a surprising amount of compassion and the script is elevated by the superb characterisation from Cat Addens and Grainne Robson’s direction.

However, there was a lot further the script could have gone. There are mentions before the show of crew resignations because of difficulty in working with Cumley St. Claire but this isn’t really addressed, although it is hinted at with the interactions with the current production crew for the TV show. The rest of the cast could have been used more to try and tell this part of the story. It could have gone a lot further in the stories and it could have been a lot more over the top than it was.

One thing it’s missing is something to tie it together. The show ends quite bluntly and it just needed something else to round it off and pull the stories together. But that doesn’t detract from it being enjoyable well performed and hilarious monologue. For an hour of comedy you won’t be disappointed.

The production company Salt Circle said they “intend to create safe comedy spaces where queerness is celebrated, and where it isn’t the character’s only storyline” they are achieving that and it will be great to see how they develop.

Rating: 3 Stars


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