Algorithms – Edinburgh Fringe

Marketed as ‘the bisexual Bridget Jones’, Sadie Clark’s honest and witty show about being a hopeless romantic in the modern dating world is whip-smart and thoroughly entertaining, with important messages about finding one’s purpose and self-worth in the process.

Again, one of the first things I noticed was the entry music – a healthy smattering of Lizzo and Janelle Monáe – that helped to set the atmosphere for Sadie Clark’s Brooke – a young working professional living in London, dividing her time between her job at a dating app, her girlfriend, expensive drinks, and wondering if everything is going to work out for her as she approaches her 30th birthday. When her girlfriend breaks up with her out of nowhere, Brooke is left devastated and resolves to find a date before the party her mother has planned for her arrives.

Clark has impeccable delivery – her script is very smart, and she delivers each joke expertly. A particularly funny moment comes when her boss finds out she is bisexual, and jokingly calls her ‘one of the greedy ones’ – Clark jabs back with an M&M allegory which is very popular with the audience.

There are healthy injections of pop culture in the show. Bridget Jones is, of course, a running theme, as are numerous nostalgic pop songs. The show is clearly relatable – it covers an underrepresented topic – searching for true love in a world rife with hook-up culture and ‘no-strings-attached’ relationships. At the climax of the performance, when Brooke is still utterly single, jobless, and seemingly without a cause, she turns to her mother for comfort. There comes a particularly poignant moment when her mother admits that there is no ‘right way’ to live your life: some get lucky with marriage, children, and jobs, and others take more time.

The takeaway message, which is identical to that on the mug Brooke is gifted by her mother, is ‘You Do You.’ The show is funny, uplifting, and quite comforting. I can imagine many would go for the Bridget Jones references, but will find themselves blown away by a uniquely funny and touching performance.


Algorithms runs until the 26th of August – buy tickets here.

@AlgorithmsPlay @ThePleasance

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Mica Anderson

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