Cariad Lloyd: Lady Cariad's Characters
An hour in the company of Lady Cariad and her characters is a window into the weirdness that lurks within every family, from would-be stand-up Andrew (Russian revolution geek, seven years old) to Alison, the least talented of an already two-bit troupe of magicians. Alison's not good with people ("I don't do banter"), but the opposite is true of her creator.
Lloyd's screwy portraits emerge almost entirely in conversation and/or flirtation with the audience, while improvisation shows she has their back stories completely sorted. In the case of psycho Cock-er-ney Sam, worringly so.
Because it's not just Cariad's characters in the room but their oddball relatives, too. Ironic that Lloyd's own family is also in on the day I attend, flashing cameras and heckling with gusto. It definitely puts her off but to her credit she simply mines them for more material.
If this is Lloyd at half-throttle, I'd love to see her size three foot on the pedal. And did I mention the one-liners? "I thought I saw a genie once, but it were only a box of tissues." I'm still giggling at that one.
- Nancy Groves