Comedian Cristina Lark’s ode to procrastination, Caution: Deadline Ahead, lacks direction but overflows with charm – making the audience confident she really can pull it off in the end.
Cristina Lark is a firecracker with a mind that moves as fast as lightning, and a mouth to match. Her C Aquila show, Caution: Deadline Ahead, is an ode to procrastination – which, we’re told, she wrote on the way to the venue having put it off for months.
Lark is a charming character who prides herself on “always pulling it off” in the end. This has got her in all manner of binds; from reciting aloud an essay that she has not bothered to write in school to missing the deadline for the Adelaide Fringe. Lark is so likeable that it’s not surprising they let her perform anyway.
The Brazilian comedian explores the joys and follies of delay tactics, drawing upon examples which demonstrate her warped sense of time and capability – a key trait of your common procrastinator. The content is clearly relatable for everyone in the intimate venue at C Aquila, who guffaw at the mention of Candy Crush domination and finishing important tasks on public transport. I felt particularly picked on as Lark described the false sense of success that comes with partaking in “good” procrastination (watching 6 hours of TED talks) instead of “bad” procrastination (6 hours of Friends).
The structure of Caution: Deadline Ahead leaves something to be desired, though. The majority of the show takes the form of a stream of consciousness, which is fitting considering Lark is supposedly making it up as she goes along (having procrastinated during the writing process). However, this causes the show to lose momentum in places as her tangents do not always reach a satisfying conclusion. Other sections take on the form of sketches and Lark finds herself laden with unnecessary props and contending with technical problems which further slow the pace. The fifty-minute piece has clever moments and plenty of relatable content but desperately needs editing in order to make them shine.
Caution: Deadline Ahead does not offer groundbreaking revelations or helpful solutions to procrastination. Instead, in a time where the pressure to achieve your goals is so strong, it simply offers a welcome respite and sense of camaraderie in our failures. After all, there’s always tomorrow.