Women in comedy for days

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 ★★★★★

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

Jessica Fostekew Silence of the nans

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,

Allie xx

Fringe Festival: Urzila Carlson

Despite living in Edinburgh since 2014 this is the first time I’ve ever actually been to the fringe! Over the next few weeks I’m going to throw up some short blog posts about what I’m going to. Naturally when the book festival starts there will be a lot about that too. Finally, I’m going to Summer in the City this weekend, there are a couple of bookish panels I’m going to try and get to! So look for a post about that coming up next week.

So, last night I went to my very first Fringe show ever. Urzila Carlson is a fab comedian that I know well, because she’s been on my TV back home in New Zealand heaps. She is a fat queer woman, so obviously I resonate with her a lot. I’m always here for my women in comedy, and I know she makes me laugh.

I was sat directly in the middle of the front row, practically feeling her breath on me. Luckily she quickly dispelled my fears of being picked on, otherwise my anxiety would have had me out of there like a rocket. She was absolutely marvelous. Lovely, and funny, and so real. She absolutely nails the whole ‘I’m saying things that have definitely happened to almost anyone but making it so much more clever and funny’ vibe that stand-up comedy has. I also seriously appreciated some of the more serious chat she wove into her hour on stage. She started a conversation that absolutely needs to be had, without derailing the show at all. I thought it was cool to hear a badass female comedian talk about some life stuff that isn’t so easy to tun into a joke.

I couldn’t have wished for a better show to kick off my Fringe experience. It was so nice to be that close to a piece of home (I’m so fucking homesick guys), and she was truly fucking funny.

Highly recommend  – check her out if you’re in Edinburgh!