A good mystery should be difficult to describe for fear of revealing spoilers, and therein lies the problem with Sophie Willan’s new show: there isn’t much to ruin. In this apparently true story, the Bolton-born actress and comedian playfully leads us through the series of clues that she’s gathered in the search for her long lost father.
The show relies heavily on audience participation and a responsive crowd, which she seems to procure with ease. Her broad accent and friendly charm mean that people are more than happy to participate (I’d advise you not to attend if you aren’t) and it’s this wave of enthusiasm which she rides so well that keeps the show going.
There’s not much furtive intrigue to explore but it’s enjoyable enough to watch unfold on the stage. The biggest conundrum, however, lies not in the plot but rather in the fact that the story isn’t engaging enough for a true gripping mystery, but it’s also not funny enough for a purely comedic experience. A more convincing blend of the two would see her go far.
Words: Matthew Sharpe
Sophie Wilan: Novice Detective, Zoo, Aug 1 – 255 (not 11), 12:15