Edinburgh Festival review: Claudia O’Doherty, Monster of the Deep 3D

Monsters of the Deep 3D is a gem of a show that makes you wish it had gone for longer, even if it’s not a laughterfest, writes Ben Clover.

Claudia_o_Doherty1It’s no disrespect to Monster of the Deep 3D to say that it’s the second best sea-related fake lecture on the Fringe.

Claudia O’Doherty’s presentation on Aquaplex, a now-destroyed ocean bed research station is a gem, but it’s narrowly pipped to the gold byJonny Sweet’s presentation on the HMS Nottingham.

The show sees the colony’s sole survivor recount life in the fictional underwater facility and her struggles to adapt to living on dry land. It’s a completely captivating hour and full of cherishable moments.

Living at the bottom of the sea poses unique challenges and most of the show is spent going through them in anguished detail. From the difference between just picking up a pencil and sexily picking up a pencil to Flim-Flam, the loose morals jellyfish, there’s a lot to enjoy.

As in Sweet’s show, the silliness in Monster of the Deep is delivered with total earnestness by a very talented performer. The survivor character O’Doherty creates is an entertainingly troubled one but by the end you are rooting for her redemption, which comes in triumphal High School Musical fashion.

The Blue Peter school of props is part of the show’s charm with a 1:4000 scale model of Aquaplex and virtual reality technology.

There aren’t millions of laughs but there is so much to charm an audience that it doesn’t matter. Not many Fringe shows leave you wishing they were longer but I wanted to learn more about the undersea facility and its international crew.

Hopefully we have not heard the last of Aquaplex and its distinct set of living conditions. Failing that, Flim-Flam should be given his own show.

Four stars
Claudia O’Doherty is on at 6.30pm at Gilded Balloon, click

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