The C Bomb Review – ‘A comic break from the madding crowd’

Ela Portnoy finds the OUDS New Writing Festival winner a source of comic relief at this year's Edinburgh Fringe.

Photo: Worcester Productions

Anyone around during the Edinburgh Fringe with a free hour at 7:30pm should pop in to Greenside Infirmary Street for a little comedy treat. The C Bomb, which won the New Writing Festival back in Hilary term this year, is a new play by Katie Sayer about a girl who finds out she has chlamydia and decides to tell all of her recent hook-ups… by throwing a party and inviting them all round. Sound awkward? It certainly is, especially when your housemate ropes all of the guys you slept with in to watch Midsomer Murders and embarrasses you with her juiciest stories.

This is a comedy for students through and through. Featuring jokes about lectures, philosophers and crew dates, the humour was pitched very much to Oxford audiences. The script sometimes reminded me of Fry and Laurie sketches with its eloquent wordplays, cheeky pretentiousness, and quick wit. The jokes come thick and fast, and sometimes take you by surprise, like the highly imaginative scenarios given by Kat in the ‘never have I ever’ game.

The whole cast are strong comedic actors, but stand out performances came from Teddy Briggs as the housemate, Alec McQuarrie as the sportsman and James Akka as the aristocrat. Briggs delivered some seriously funny and convoluted lines with apparent ease and naturalness, McQuarrie had a great laid-back characterisation, and Akka was hilariously deadpan in the face of some truly ridiculous lines.

The set design served the play very well, with props that heightened the humour (such as a certain ‘drinks’ jug that features prominently and contains much more than just drink). The costumes were very nicely chosen. I especially liked the ‘family crest’ tie and the nose ring, which were both mentioned in the dialogue.

My one criticism is that some of the acting was a little overdone and could do with being more natural. But all in all, The C Bomb is a very funny intellectual comedy that features sharp wit, comic performances and great design elements. A welcome breather from the bustle of the Fringe.


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