Presented by Alice Mary Cooper
Reviewed 15 February 2018
The Bean Counter is literally what the title states; the audience witnesses (and participates in) the comedic events within an international jelly bean counting competition, with our slightly odd ‘official bean counter’.
How many jelly beans are in the jar? We’ve been asked this time and time again in our lives, and this time the question has been posed to the audience at the (fictional) International Jelly Bean Counting Competition held in our little city of Adelaide. The audience’s competition official (the woman in this one-woman show) is a slightly odd, possibly under-qualified individual who seems a little lost with her role and the ‘official’ counting methods.
The creative behind The Bean Counter is Alice Mary Cooper – an Edinburgh based actor, clown and theatre-maker who devises and performs her own shows with a strong focus on both character (as can be seen in the show) and physical theatre. So far, she has created many solo shows, such as When Alice (Cooper) met (Prince) Harry, while also collaborating with other artists to make her shows available to all ages. Most recently she has also been assisting at Adelaide’s very own Windmill Theatre Co in the lead up to her Adelaide Fringe season.
The comedic style is similar to that of the beloved dope and English comedic superstar – Mr Bean. The humour is that of a slightly awkward and wide-eyed jelly bean counter who seems a little bit lost in the centre of the audience’s attention. Many of her jokes require a slightly higher level of dedication to her character which is readily achievable with a touch more confidence from Cooper. As this was opening night, alongside performing a slightly altered version of her usual routine, Cooper very easily could have had some opening night nerves which should clear up with time. When improvising within the show, the young actor has some great moments of humour which appear to be her strong suit.
With Cooper hopefully building up her confidence, The Bean Counter should grow to be a humorous, individual comedy that would appeal to an audience of Mr Bean enthusiasts, and possibly smaller jelly beans (children) who would enjoy the silliness of this show.
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Rating out of 5: 2.5
Venue: La Bohème, 36 Grote St, Adelaide SA 5000
Season: 16 – 18 February 2018
Duration: 40 min
Tickets: $14 – $18