Edinburgh Fringe 2015 Review: Confessions of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl

A highly uplifting and well-refined one woman play makes a lasting impression on reviewer

Image: Gilded Balloon

Image: Gilded Balloon

★★★★★

Venue: Gilded Balloon

Confessions of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl is a one woman show that revolves around the life of Joanie Little (Rebecca Perry), a feisty anthropology graduate who gets a job as a barista after struggling to break into her dream field. It’s a familiar situation that’s easy to relate to and Perry is an animated and engaging performer.

Joanie’s jungle-themed descriptions of her customers and co-workers are hilariously astute, from gorilla-like boss Gabe to jogging turkey Sue. Perry slips in and out of character with ease, adopting an impressive variety of personae and keeping a clear distinction between them so that there’s never any confusion over who’s supposed to be on stage with her. While a lot of Joanie’s observations aren’t entirely new, Perry’s impeccable comic timing and faultless delivery keeps her jokes feeling fresh. The use of instrumental piano music adds to the playful tone of Confessions of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl and often helps to increase the humour in the show.

Confessions of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl is also interspersed with songs, including the trio ‘Change For Me’, ‘Stairway to Healthcare’ and ‘(Come on and) Tip’ which detail Joanie’s elaborate tipping system. Perry has a beautiful voice, and her lyrics are witty and delightfully quirky without being twee. She could have easily sung her way through her show’s one hour running time and would have probably still earned a five star review from me. The closing song ‘Rivers… Til I Meet You’ is a particular highlight and is sung with heartfelt emotion.

Cynics may shake their heads at Joanie’s implausibly good fortune at the end of the show and find love interest Marco as bland as your typical rom com male lead. However, Joanie is such a likeable character that you can’t help but feel pleased when she gets her happy ending. Her gleeful smile and disbelief when she realises Marco is interested in her makes her incredibly endearing and her happiness is infectious.

Confessions of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl is a wonderfully uplifting show that will have you laughing your head off. It possesses a refreshing optimism that’s sure to leave you with a warm feeling in your heart and with plenty of hope for the future.

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