Imagine a collection of five Instagram posts. There’s maybe a picture of someone’s burger, a cat picture, a photo of an interesting building, a post-gym selfie and a shot of a tree. Sure, the cat and the tree both have the Hudson filter on them, but apart from that, they have absolutely nothing in common.
This was kind of the effect of Dear Delphine, Monica Trapaga’s not-quite-solo show at Fringe festival. Each of the elements was perfectly acceptable in its own right, but gave no indication that it belonged on the same stage as the other elements.
The body of the show – Trapaga as agony aunt Dear Delphine, responding to correspondents’ pleas for advice with standards – was an interesting concept and had pretty strong bones. Also, each of the disparate elements (the clowning butler, the burlesque dancer, the tap-dancing mail delivery boy and the hula-hoop artiste, not to mention Trapaga’s accompanist) were fine additions. It’s just that there was too much going on and, in the end, I was left unsure whether I’d witnessed a glorious mess or a sadly missed opportunity.