Australian stand-up Alice Fraser begins her show with a song on her banjo that segues into her account of a fateful train journey from London to Glasgow on 7th March 2020, just before the COVID pandemic changed everything. Fraser is desperate for ideas for her show, and uses her fellow passengers for inspiration.
From this framework comes an hour of effortless, speedy extemporisation on the passengers themselves as well as other topics such as her abortive diagnosis of ADHD, writer’s block, the psychological effects of the COVID pandemic, and motherhood, which becomes important later on. Fraser’s analyses of the other passengers is witty and incisive, with her takedown of a table of advertising executive bros in particular allowing her to go on an extended routine about watching porn that builds to a hilarious climax.
However, whilst Fraser’s freewheeling sensibility is entertaining, the emotional truth of some of her material, particularly her feelings on motherhood and her relationship with her mother, is what takes her show to the next level.
Her final thoughts on her mother, as well as a revelation that connects this topic to her musings on maternity, are incredibly moving and provide an extra dimension to her onstage performance. It is this, along with the energetic pace of the rest of the show, that provides Chronos with more appeal than simply having enough gags for the audience to laugh at.
Fraser may have had worries about writing her show, but the finished product more than dispels any doubts she had on that fateful train journey.