If you have a free afternoon this Fringe ditch the overpriced coffee and indulge in Coffee Kid. Nominated for Best Performer and the Spirit of Wit award at the Dublin Fringe Festival 2022, Coffee Kid is a one-woman play exploring the absurd character Beanie Clooney (Síomha McQuinn) the love child of George Clooney and a Nespresso machine. The show was unsurprisingly whacky but also relatable: the familiar coming-of-age themes of identity, love and belonging were revitalised by the originality of the protagonist. It also brought together classic Fringe comedy and new ideas in a refreshing way: satirical jokes towards Womanhood, Hollywood and patriarchy were complimented by more niche puns about the unique character and plot.
Despite moments of depth the storyline was kept light-hearted and was easy to laugh along to for the hour. The short scenes also helped to pace the show and kept the audience engaged. The overarching question Who am I? was explored and answered creating resolution that allowed the audience to leave the show feeling satisfied.
A highlight was the simple but effective lighting, especially during the camping scene when a torch was used to illuminate Beanie’s face as she whispered crude campfire tales to her friends (also played by Síomha McQuinn) and the audience. Although, during the dream sequence the lighting on the audience felt a tad overstimulating given the already chaotic energy of the scene.
Also, the use of props to create dynamic characters was ingenious, especially the coffee machine which (or rather who) was brought to life on stage by clever choreography and audio clips. As charismatic as the coffee machine was, Síomha McQuinn’s acting took centre-stage and her musical numbers were a surprise that added further texture to the show. Her storytelling was charming and small moments of improvisation engaged the audience in a relaxed way.
Overall, simple and splendid. The perfect coffee-catch up for yourself and a friend during Fringe season.
Running time: 60 minutes. Playing until 27th August, https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/coffee-kid
Reviewer: Amy Rose Holstead
Reviewed: 3rd August 2023
North West End UK Rating: