Note: This review is from the 2018 Fringe

Lemons. Life has handed them to Dr Klevemark, a positive thinking coach who isn’t in the best frame of mind herself, despite what her spirited chat and fixed grin suggest. She’s here to help us turn our lives around and get what we want out of life. The good doctor herself clearly hasn’t, as we find out when her facade begins to crack…

This short show by Swedish character comedian Lisa Klevemark in the former Stand venue proves to be perfectly palatable lunchtime fare. The depressed motivational speaker and healer-heal-thyself backstory is very workable and Klevemark keeps the energy high and audience active with silly motivational games like drawing faces on balloons to convey our state of mind and plastering our foreheads with post-its identifying what we want to become – be that rich, good-looking, tall or fun.

These games are quite simple, and in all honesty, don’t have huge comedy potential. It’s hard to get much from us stating our wishes and chanting them in a mantra without Klevemark using mad improv skills on some of the suggestions. But it never bores or causes disengagement. It’s very accessible and welcomes you in.

The doctor’s character could use fleshing out a little more though. The sadness behind her smile is taken as read, and when she tucks into an actual lemon, adamant that it’s actually a sweet-tasting orange, the self-delusion is complete. But more quirks and more detail in the back story would help the audience to fully invest. It needs that certain something, a greater exaggeration of personality to help draw a line between the doctor and Klevemark herself.

And the Dance of Positivity finale might work with a big, raucous crowd at the end of a longer show but in these circumstances, it’s overlong and hard for a handful of us to sustain the clapping and cheering. It’s not Brent’s dance in terms of sheer visual humour.

The basics are all in place though. The audience buy into the premise, participate keenly, and Klevemark keeps things rolling along. We never worry that she’ll break down – only that Dr Klevemark might do from the strain of keeping smiling – and we leave happier than we came in. Perhaps the struck off Doctor is better at this positivity lark than she realises.