Mark Mander’s creation is a sharp and sassy diva who provides a hilarious evening of comedy and music.
What a fabulous diva Clementine is – sharp tongued with plenty of fabulous outfits along the way, there is no denying that Mark Mander’s creation is certainly a force to be reckoned with as this imaginative and witty show proves.
The Clementine show is filled with numerous sketches (including a particularly hilarious tribute to Doctor Who) that were filmed by Mark Mander, interspersed with live performances from Clementine herself and guest appearances from Betty Bar Fly, Ricky the Rooster and Yvette the Usher, who are brought to life by puppeteers Ruth Calkin and Mark Esaias to great effect.
Throughout the show, the audience is kept constantly on their toes, never knowing exactly what to expect such as during a well choreographed performance of ‘Copacabana’ that highlighted the skills of both Calkin and Esaias brilliantly.
While the show touches on politics (look out for the robotic Theresa May and the puffy faced Donald Trump whose hair has literally a life of its own), for the most part it keeps the entertainment light, preferring to concentrate on popular culture instead.
But it is the way in which the puppets such as Ricky the Rooster and Yvette the Usher’s really come to life to the point where you are forgetting that you are watching puppets and see them as real life characters. That is very much down to the credit of Calkin and Esaias providing great energy in their performances. Meanwhile, Clementine is a razor sharp character that brings to mind Miss Piggy from The Muppets but for a more grown up audience.
It could be said that it would have been better if the show relied more on live performance than the filmed aspect as it can feel as though the audience spends more time looking at a screen rather than enjoying a live show.
However, despite this The Clementine Show is sharp witted, glamorous and hilarious fun from start to finish, providing a welcome distraction from the world even if it is just for an hour or so. Who knew grown up puppet shows could be so much fun?
By Emma Clarendon
The Clementine Show appears at Live at Zedel on various dates. For more information visit: https://www.brasseriezedel.com/live-at-zedel/the-clementine-show-2018