Kiri Pritchard-Mclean: Appropriate Adult

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Kiri Pritchard-Mclean
Published 11 Aug 2017

Most mothers have, at some stage, wrestled with the inner demons surrounding pressure to be either "cool mum" or "good mum". Such a moral dilemma forms the crux of Appropriate Adult, Kiri Pritchard-Mclean's enjoyable tale of her experience as a care volunteer for vulnerable children. 

Having recently broken up with a long-term partner, she's adjusting to the potentially lonely pitfalls of single life (but not, as she points out, "soliciting on a grand scale"). The social scheme she worked on offered her the chance to give something back, and indulge in her intermittent motherly instincts. It's a heartfelt and well-constructed basis for a show, and the emotional core it creates is a fine platform for her honest and frank material. 

She specialises in comic misdirection and has a lot of fun with her delivery, sneaking in punchlines and zingers behind blind corners without ever trivialising the events she's narrating. It's darkly funny and the gallows humour serves her tale well. What undermines certain elements of her act is an occasionally prickly disposition, outwith her onstage persona. She appears defensive without having any reason to be; churlish in a way which runs contrary to the compassionate maternal sentiment she's trying to convey.

Despite this, it's still a worthwhile entry into the canon of bittersweet Fringe yarns, with enough laughs and astute observations (you'll rethink the millenial breeding crisis after this) along the way. And for the record, we can all agree she'd be a "cool mum".