Britney

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I didn’t expect to spend my Friday night laughing at a brain tumour. Neither did I expect to find myself crying whilst watching a Comedy.

If that isn’t a compelling advert for Britney, then I don’t know what is.

Best friends since school, Charly Clive and Ellen Robertson use the combined art of sketch and stand-up to successfully portray their personal journeys in life and friendship when Charly is diagnosed with a brain tumour, dubbed ‘Britney’. Having just travelled back to Oxfordshire from studying in New York, she decides to visit the doctors after feeling faint. Ellen had graduated from Cambridge University and upon hearing Charly’s diagnosis, decided to turn down her job working on a documentary in Scotland to stay with Charly and her family. Already the strength of their friendship is made self-evident which is only furthered by their natural comedic rhythm on stage.

The real tragedy of the story, of course, wasn’t the brain tumour, but it was Ellen’s struggle with Plantar Fasciitis. For the non-podiatrist readers amongst us, please Google this to understand the sarcasm there. From foot injuries, to inappropriate anaesthetists, to the collaborated invention of her brain tumour as a Welsh town, Ellen’s main role was to make Charly laugh thereby keeping her mind preoccupied. During the diagnosis, the duo decided to develop their story into the Comedy set that is Britney.

Whilst humour is imperative to the show, it wouldn’t be nearly as effective without Charly’s occasional reality checks. Utilising monologues, lighting and sketches, Charly manages to interject raw human emotion into the show, reflecting the scares and struggles she powered through. The fact she was able to transform a potential period of darkness into an hour of comedy gold goes to show the remarkable talent of both Charly and Ellen. Also, if brain tumours aren’t your thing, go see Britney just for the hilarious HP impression (the speccy chap not the condiment). Charly’s impression of Harry Potter is better than anything performed by Daniel Radcliffe.

Overall, Britney is one of the best shows I have seen this year. It’s witty, it’s raw and it’s worth going just to be educated on Plantar Fasciitis alone, which is also really fun to say aloud. Thank you to both Ellen and Charly for taking the leap and creating your own ‘tumour humour’. I look forward to your next project.

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