Stepping outside of her madcap characters this year, Marny Godden has invited us to Marny Town to take a peek at the inspiration behind some of her most lunatic ideas. It’s a look back across her life from a small girl harassing boys on the beach to finding love on a clowning course. For anyone who has seen Godden before and is worried she has become accessible, no chance. By the end you’re still largely none the wiser, but with a Godden show, wondering what the hell is going on is all part of the fun.
Godden started off in sketch troupe The Grandees, then went on to create some larger-than-life characters. Last year’s winner was the endearing punk One Tooth, who makes an appearance here too, along with an old Jewish guy who’s fond of dancing, and the fellow clown Godden falls for.
Godden’s skill lies not just in the creation of these characters, who seem to form in a special part of her imagination, but in selling them to a crowd. The action is so ridiculous at times that Godden lets out a giggle, but not taking herself entirely seriously is the way she creates great warmth and camaraderie in the room. A solo show this may be, but by the close half the audience have been on stage and the rest of us have been called upon to do something from our seats – it’s a group effort.