Taking a wholly unfunny subject and turning it in to a comedy cannot possibly be an easy task, but that’s exactly what Charly Clive and Ellen Robertson have done with Britney. Not only that, they’ve done it incredibly well.
Britney is the true story of two best friends coping with one of them being diagnosed with a brain tumour. This works as a comedy because in life we try to rationalise what’s happening to us, to find happiness in the sadness and to make the terrifying less scary; like naming your brain tumour after an international pop star.
Britney is part story-telling, part sketch show, which makes it all the easier for the audience to come to terms with the subject. There are lovely nuances throughout, like the repeated mispronunciation of Charlys name, which is never explained, but doesn’t need to be, it’s one of those little quirks of life that helps the audience place themselves in the moment.
Overall though, it’s Charly and Ellen who make the show so powerful. They choose to let us in to a personal time in their lives, they invite us to share their inner thought processes, and they allow us to laugh right alongside them. That makes Britney feel like an incredibly intimate experience and one which I think only Charly and Ellen could deliver.
Britney is laugh-out-loud funny and told with love. Maybe they’re right, and laughter isn’t the best medicine (medically) but this show will certainly help heal a few broken funny bones.