Words: Elodie Marriott
Treated to a chocolate finger once we’d taken our seats, Charlie Vero-Martin, dressed in a red gingham dress, has planned a picnic extravaganza for us. It’s full of delightful madness that doesn’t stop to over-explain itself. The uniqueness of the show is confirmed by a wooden basket who tells us that we might as well ask him some questions as we won’t ever get the chance again.
The audience is left on tenterhooks, waiting for the reveal of the next sketch. Vero-Martin transforms the atmosphere with each character, starting with her more quirky and silly personas, before making her way to the more obscure and dark, like The Gate Keeper who will criticise your every move.
A DIY axolotl, that may have been a hot-water bottle in its past life, pounces into the crowd and makes the front row scream. The militant pinecone employed by the National Trust is particularly memorable and unique, amusing those who have visited heritage houses before and bewildering those who haven’t.
In a high-tension ‘Midsommar’ inspired finale, we are shown how the innocence associated with picnics can turn within an hour into something more sinister and cult-like. Charlie Vero-Martin expands our current knowledge of the summer activity with her cast of kooky and creative characters.
Charlie Vero-Martin: Picnic
Underbelly Cowgate, Delhi Belly