Birdy arrived at The Space on the Mile not knowing too much about CCTV, but very ready for some comedy from this one-woman show.
Fiona Walker is a drama school graduate who needs to choose a path in life – and teaching really doesn’t suit her, neither does becoming a lawyer (apparently the only two main choices) so… corporate world here she comes!
We follow this character through her interviews and Zoom faux pas, to landing a job, retelling various encounters with men and other chaos.
CCTV is a one-woman show with some props and costume additions, but mainly it’s all about the character and storytelling, confidently delivered by Ella Milne (who also wrote the show) and directed by Alice Holmes.
As you walk in and find your seat, this (above image) is the sight you’re greeted with. After a few minutes of everyone getting seated, the show begins with the character of Fiona waking up, and going through what looks like a series of flashbacks from the night before (which is done without her saying a word, by the way).
We then learn about Fiona and her life, having always been an attention seeker, and we’re confidently taken on a bit of a journey where we’re very much invited into her inner monologue.
The vibe is one of ‘what the hell is she doing with her life?‘ and also ‘fidget queen‘ or ‘why does she keep pulling her skirt up and back down again?‘
The show itself
I remember once working at an office as a young person, and Fiona’s retelling of events – in such a captivating, engaging way – gives me flashbacks. There’s office politics and drama and… well, comments from men. Luckily, Zoom was before my time.
It all feels very spot on. Although, unlike Fiona, my biggest office mischief was replacing a bag of sugar with salt.
The character of Fiona is very much what you’d expect a drama student to be, and I particularly like her habit of being silly in front of CCTV. That’s the first mention of the title name, and you start to think you might know where the show might be going… no, you don’t. At all.
Ella Milne plays the role of Fiona quite convincingly, and spends a lot of time pacing and fidgeting as she retells what actually happened. There are a few funny moments, and changes in pace, with the story ambling along and going off in some interesting tangents.
However, by the final punchline, it all makes sense and you feel like you’ve enjoyed a show from a promising new talent. At least, I did.
A well-rounded, narrative-led situational comedy of an ex-drama student trying to navigate office life, and you get the feeling she’s not really meant to be there at all. I could definitely relate to the character, at least early on.