Ouroboros is a one-woman show by Charlotte Fox, a confrontational piece of hyper-functionalised characters. Jonathan Penney reviews:

Beginning with an erratic dance audition, the confusion in Ouroboros starts from the very first minute.

This one-woman show by Charlotte Fox is a series of sketches of various characters who all have welfare at the core of their personalities. From a hyperactive fitness instructor to a slightly condescending motivational speaker, Fox introduces these stereotypical people in quick succession. However, not having any clear links between each individual makes for a confused show, with a severe lack of narrative.

Ouroboros progresses through a catalogue of charismatic people, but the production verges on a serious issue that at one point that may appear insulting rather than affecting. When Fox is playing the failing actress stereotype, there is a moment where she engulfs a whole cake that she has previously been trying to avoid in an attempt to remain slim and improve her employability. After doing this though, Fox stumbles off stage to gag and retch in a bid that is supposed to be comedic but comes across as insensitive. Fox normalises such behaviour without addressing the sensitivity of this important issue, making the whole scene uncomfortable to watch.

Audience participation is included throughout the production, which certainly sends a shiver throughout the auditorium, especially when members are asked to join Fox on stage and actively participate in this show. But this provides some light relief as other jokes and sketches fall flat. Awkward laughter becomes the measure of a show that gets more confused as time progresses. As a performer, Fox fully embraces each character and fully embraces their quirks, putting her soul into their personality and embracing her surroundings. It’s pleasant to witness and watching how Fox interacts with others in these characters is a humorous watch.

Having no narrative to the overall show is a route that some plays do manage to achieve successfully, but Ouroboros is less a carefully constructed piece than a random mesh of generally unfunny sketches that divide audiences.

 

 

★★☆☆☆

Ouroboros ran at Underbelly Cowgate as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018. For further information, please visit the venue website.