by Laura Kressly
Our company is restructuring and every one of us has to reapply for our jobs. Tensions are running high, but don’t worry! Our caring employers have asked one of the HR team to lead us in a Mindfulness workshop to help us cope. The thing is that this workshop leader’s life is falling apart as well, and the skeletons are tumbling out of her closet quicker than she can put them back in.
Katie McLeod plays our cheery, corporate facilitator with a self-taught mindfulness practice, but her disorganisation, debt and crumbling relationship are interfering with the exercises she’s trying to lead – to hilarious effect. McLeod is a hugely watchable character actor oozing with snarky wit and confidence. She has created an overblown, high-camp character drawing on clowning, improv and melodrama that is hilarious, tragic and instantly recognisable.
The production values are minimal but McLeod holds the stage for the duration of the show. The tight narrative sometimes appears to wander, but always loops back on track later and proves the purpose of its diversions. The length is just about right for this solo performance, though this is a character that could easily lead to more shows or sketches.
This comedy and theatre hybrid has little to fault and will appeal to a broad range of fringe audiences. Stress and tension create heightened, convincing comedy that’s relatable and inclusive – many people will be able to sympathise with the helplessness of job insecurity and a unstable home life. This polished, well-performed show is sure to be a highlight of this year’s free fringe.
Losing My Mindfulness runs through 25 August.
The Play’s the Thing UK is committed to covering fringe and progressive theatre in London and beyond. It is run entirely voluntarily and needs regular support to ensure its survival. For more information and to help The Play’s the Thing UK provide coverage of the theatre that needs reviews the most, visit its patreon.