Without being entirely conscious that I was doing it, I managed to book a whole lotta women comedians for the Fringe. With 5 or 6 shows left for me (3 of which are more female comedians) I have spent most of this month of August laughing my ass off at some fabulous women in comedy. To save you from a number of short posts on each individual show, I thought I’d compile some reviews here. If you’re in Edinburgh, or at any festival, remember to support diversity in arts and entertainment, coz women can be fucking funny.
Rose Matafeo ★★★★★
This was definitely my Stand-up comedy highlight of the Fringe. I’ll admit to a slight bias because she’s from New Zealand. What really set her apart was her energy. She was on point from the second the audience began entering the venue, dancing around and chatting to us, making us labels with a label maker for no real reason. I had a crush on her before she had even begun the comedy. The skill with which she explores identities offered to women without losing the funny and light atmosphere for a second is incredible. I feel even if her comedy wasn’t your thing, the killer personality, and good vibes she radiates throughout the set will make you love her anyway.
Twayna Mayne ★★★1/2
What felt like a tepid start at this show quickly became forgotten as Twayna Mayne did her thing. Keeping up the comedy while exploring her life, to an audience of mostly white people over 40, was really quite the feat. There were certain moments where I know I didn’t feel the most engaged, but it highlighted for me how often I rest on having shared experiences with the comedian I’m watching. For the first I’ve ever seen of this lovely comedian I think she did a stunning job, and I think she’ll go on to do awesome things in comedy.
Standard Issue Stands Up ★★★★
There were several fantastic comedians in the line up for this evening. I’ll admit I had booked in entirely to see Sarah Millican, but I left with the decision to book two more shows to see some more material from other women the show featured. Jessica Fostekew was running the show, and she was so funny and fantastic that I ended up at her own show the very next day. Evelyn Mok was first up, and I now have tickets for her show next week! The other ladies also did a fantastic job, but those two really stood out. I think it’s when a great kind of personality comes through alongside the clever comedy that really does it for me. Sarah Millican was a gem, of course, I couldn’t have been more pleased to see her on stage. If I’m around in Edinburgh next year I’d be delighted to see her tour.
Jessica Fostekew ★★★ 1/2
So less than 24 hours after seeing her at Standard Issue stands up I was at Jessica Fostekew’s solo show ‘Silence of the Nans’. I’ll admit seeing it quite so soon after was perhaps not the best move as a couple of jokes I had already heard, obviously didn’t land quite so well as the first time. But again, it was that personality and her voice coming through her comedic tale that made it so entertaining. There were moments where the comedy lagged a bit as she had to move forward in her tale of cruise ship woe, but she pulled it all together wonderfully.
Samantha Baines ★★★
Now, this show was probably better than I think it was in my head. But my high expectations may have clouded my judgment a bit, and maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood? The puns were absolutely spot on. I definitely laughed a great deal at those and other jokes. I think it may have been poetry corner that put me off a bit. She’s got a wee book of poetry out, which I’m sure is hilarious, but its place in the show felt a bit odd. I admired her choice of topic though, ‘lost women in science’ is a great idea, and she executed it pretty well, I just didn’t leave this show with the same sense of satisfaction I did the others.
Hope you’re having a fantastic fringe fest,