Sadie Clark
Sadie Clark and Laura Elmes Productions
Pleasance Courtyard

Sadie Clark as Brooke Credit: Ali Wright

Is Facebook really for friends and just how candid is Insta? In a world where it’s sometimes hard to find your place, being bombarded with stories of other people’s success can lead to despair or resentment depending on your state of mind.

In Algorithms, Sadie Clarke introduces us to Brooke, a woman about to turn 30 having achieved much but feeling small. After finding herself suddenly single, she sets out on a mission to fix everything before that big birthday hits—a month is is plenty of time, right?

This one-woman show treads some familiar ground but does so with engaging ease and some pleasing modern touches. Get dumped by your girlfriend? Of course you instantly identify with Bridget Jones. Work for a dating app writing their algorithms? Why wouldn’t you rank compatibility by percentages?

In this case, familiarity breeds rapport. Most people have had at least a few awful dates and relationships with parents are often complicated. Matter of fact, honest but occasionally self pitying Clark has created a character who speaks for a bulk of the population who feel they’ve followed the formula and can’t understand why life hasn’t given what they were promised.

There are plenty of laughs here, with a script heavier on the comedic element of ‘tragicomedy’. Running through its core, however, is an age-old question: am I good enough? The answer, of course, is that you have to do the best you can and hope for the best, but this isn’t exactly always an easy thing to visualise, let alone actually commit to.

Just like the Bridget Jones franchise, there will be certain members of the audience who identify more strongly than others with Brooke, but there’s no doubt that Sadie Clark’s performance almost instantly grabs and sustains a connection.

Reviewer: Amy Yorston

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