Comedy review: Zoe Gardner's Fault


PREVIOUSLY known to Fringe-goers as one half of imaginary Victorian freak show The Congress of Oddities, Zoe Gardner appears in this (sort of) one-woman show as herself.

Zoe Gardner's Fault (a replacement for the apparent working title Zoe Gardner's Gardner's World) isn't entirely a success, but displays the kind of wild ambition Fringe audiences could all do with seeing more of. Ostensibly Gardner is a character comedian, and she fully acknowledges this with a couple of throwaway lines that suggest she's using this show as an audition piece to find more work. Or any work, for that matter.

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So we meet Alison, her frumpy, middle-aged and fairly amusing producer, and the brilliant Kayley, a dim-witted care assistant who aspires to be a beauty therapist (at least she still gets the white coat in her current job). Other characters showcase Gardner's unquestioned talents as an actress, although they seem less fully formed than this pair, as if they still have one foot in the workshop.

Yet another character Gardner has worked hard on is herself, and the show's slightly confusing but impressively game ending incorporates unexpected guest appearances and a bit of fourth wall breaking. She's a rough talent, but undoubtedly one to keep an eye on for the future.

• Until 24 August. Today 5:20pm