The Edinburgh Revue Stand-Ups

Wed 5th – Mon 31st August 2015

reviews

Alannah Jones

at 10:19 on 15th Aug 2015

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I sincerely respect anybody with the guts to do stand-up comedy. Personally I can think of few things more terrifying. My admiration is more acute, however when the stand-up in question is so young and fresh-faced that the majority of the audience members are old enough to be their parents. Such was the case for all four comics of The Edinburgh Revue: Stand Ups.

We were welcomed into the venue by the compere with seemingly boundless enthusiasm - he was almost exhausting to watch. Unfortunately his attempt to entice audience members hovering at the back to take a seat in the front row fell flat. Still, he pressed on with unwavering enthusiasm and an infectious smile, introducing each stand up with a flourish.

First up was Thomas Hind with some wry and witty musical comedy comprising of several chuckle-inducing ditties concerning the trials and tribulations of dating in a minefield of people with contrary political ideology. Next onstage was Steve Duffy with some sharp observational comedy, carefully toing the line between comical and offensive, and occasionally wavering into the zone of poor taste. For instance, I wasn’t completely sure why he felt the need to point out that he definitely wasn’t gay and then proceed to conjure up a very stereotypically camp character for the benefit of his next joke. At times perhaps overly melodramatic, his set was nonetheless likeably enthused.

Refreshingly, the show included two young female stand-up comics, both of whom felt it necessary to address the attitudes of the world of stand-up comedy towards female comics, before heartily proving such them wrong. Jodi Mitchell gave a riveting, hilarious and politically sharp performance, with just enough self-deprecation thrown into the mix to make for an endearing yet still forcefully funny and very likeable personality.

Additionally Isobel Moulder self-deprecatingly exposed the plight of the terminally socially awkward millennial to great success alongside a derisive take-down of street harassment.

Instead of being a difficult to overcome, all four succeeded in turning their youth into their greatest strength. All in all they were an upbeat, lively and promising bunch, showcasing humour that of a higher standard than the average university comedy society or indeed the greater part of free shows at the fringe.

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Polly Jacobs

at 11:11 on 15th Aug 2015

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One never knows what to expect when faced with stand-up comedians. The rather homely atmosphere of regal gold and red pub venue was abruptly shattered by the compère. His clamorous energy was admirable, and arguably necessary, in order to rouse a crowd at midday on a thoroughly miserable, grey weekday afternoon. He did, however, come across at times as rather overbearing, and the microphone seemed rather unnecessary given that his voice filled the room more than adequately without it. I generally find crowd interaction awkward, however the audience seemed to enjoy this, and he therefore at least captivated our attention. It did feel rather like being part of a children's party, though this was not necessarily a bad thing.

The first act began in a fairly lowbrow but nevertheless comical way that chimed well with the atmosphere. Thomas Hind seemed to strive for a Tim Minchin feel, with the large part of his act comprised of comedic songs played on acoustic guitar. During songs, had a quirky way of fitting a couple too many words into a line that gave an endearingly clumsy feel. His act peaked during his final song, about an extremely misguided ex-girlfriend with a penchant for right-wing Conservatism. Steve Duffy was the next act, speaking largely about identity, place and sexuality. His repertoire of accents, seemed accurate and he performed well.

It was the female comedians, however, that elevated the performance. Isobel Moulder was delightfully confident and had an almost frantic stage presence. Her verve was infectious. Sensitive but important points on topics such as feminism were handled in a down-to-earth way. Jodie Mitchell spoke freely and openly with a deadpan honesty that made her very likeable. Brazen and astute, her short sketch was self-aware and cleverly cutting.

It was refreshing to see female comedians not only as a PR token but as the stars of this performance. The awkwardness of much amateur stand-up comedy was, thankfully, not present. Overall, each stand-up gave a valiant performance and their expression was generally well-thought out.

Considering this is free and accessible, there is no reason why you shouldn't start a day at the Fringe with this light comedy.

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Comments

Eve Nicholson; 15th Aug 2015; 18:46:55

The man with the guitar and a penchant for panda hate (as well as a whirlwind Tory romance) was unfortunately not the American MC Robert Batson but rather a "Tim Minchin feel" evoking Thomas Hind. Securely giving credit where credit is due.

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