Sikisa: Lifetime of the Get together ****
Pleasance Courtyard (Pleasance Under), till 28 August
Solely while you see a performer like Sikisa Bostwick-Barnes do you really recognize how static and staid most stand-up is. Sikisa is enjoyable, with charisma to burn. Even with out the dance breaks she’s constructed into her party-themed debut present, replete with takeaway celebration bag, she’s the life and soul of the room – gossipy, flirtatious, open and revealing, decided that everybody has an excellent time, but commanding and brooking little nonsense from others. Above all although, she’s effortlessly humorous, waspish and depraved in her asides, uproariously hilarious when she’s placing somebody of their place or the world to rights.
A proud British-Barbadian with a day job as an immigration lawyer and beforehand different aspect hustles, she’s grafted in the direction of her standing as an “Alpha”. Opinionated on Brexit, refugees, gentrification and acceptable celebration meals, she’s contemptuous of veganism in a manner that is so hyper-exaggerated she makes it really feel like an affront to God moderately than a dietary or life-style selection. Stung by sniping that her serial courting of white males compromises her blackness, she’s each insightful and mischievous on race, playfully manipulating her Caucasian associates and predominately pale viewers when the chance arises. Presenting her intercourse life as each a sly rebalance of ethnic inequality and boss lady’s buffet selection of companions, she treats the poisonous phenomenon of dick pics with casually detached contempt and endearingly confesses to an excruciating episode the place her harmless mom chanced upon her vibrator.
As distinctively packaged, but straightforwardly humorous introductory reveals go, Lifetime of the Get together is just about note-perfect. Proper all the way down to the grandstanding closing speech wherein Sikisa reiterates that for all of her accomplishments and challenges that she’s confronted, she’s nonetheless able to being an selfish fool.
Hannah Fairweather: Only a Regular Woman Who Enjoys Revenge ***
Simply The Tonic at The Caves (Simply Up the Stairs), till 28 August
Because the self-avowed “Taylor Swift of comedy”, Hannah Fairweather’s score-settling debut takes its title from the pop queen’s lyrics and travails with the patriarchal industries that inhibit them each, an hour of l’esprit de l’escalier or “what I ought to have mentioned was…” A Scot who lived in a number of nations rising up, she had basic outsider standing even earlier than pursuing vocations in male-dominated realms like golf, engineering and accountancy. Whether or not via character flaw or just deceptive recommendation, she at all times seems to have been a misfit, naturally growing enemies.
In fact, she’s not an apparent click on for the comedy trade both, not when it is dominated by thin-skinned freedom-of-speech warriors podcasting to hundreds of thousands. Her stagecraft is fairly uncooked however she’s a promising author, with a clutch of exceptionally well-crafted and appealingly darkish strains and the overflowing enthusiasm of somebody on the cusp of discovering their voice. The present’s naughty listing construction supplies an enough, novel framework to introduce her. However there’s maybe an excessive amount of superficially crammed in, together with her time spent learning within the repressive, Bible Belt of South Carolina for instance, suggestive of deeper materials to be mined. Regardless, one to look at. And never flip your again on.
John-Luke Roberts: A World Simply Like Our Personal, However… ***
Monkey Barrel Comedy (Monkey Barrel 4), till 28 August
Following on from final yr’s present, partaking absurdist John-Luke Roberts is pioneering a type of jazz-stand-up whereby each set-up begins with the chorus: “There is a world identical to our personal, however …”. As high-concept whimsy goes, it is a pleasant science-fiction premise, the limitless prospects of a number of universes and an opportunity to have a look at acquainted phenomenon from contemporary angles inspiring him to some joyously foolish and surreal gags. As per his latest Fringe choices although, the escapist daftness deflects and incorporates a real disappointment in his life, which emerges over the hour – a ache that has understandably prompted him to think about parallel existences with completely different paths chosen.
The mix of ridiculous humour and creeping pathos works maybe surprisingly nicely, with the comedian fastidiously balancing the tone. Regrettably although, regardless of some entertaining interludes wherein he communes with different John-Luke Roberts from different universes and occasional bits of enterprise with props and sound cues, over an hour, the formulaic repetition turns into barely numbing and one finds one’s thoughts wandering. He could also be at a private nadir however Roberts is in a wealthy place artistically and one anticipates his subsequent tweak of the shape with actual curiosity.
Simply the Tonic at The Caves (Simply the Wee One), till 28 August
With distant echoes of The League of Gents and Reeves and Mortimer, The Pretty Boys’ debut hour is a claustrophobic, semi-delightful, semi-nightmarish splurge of absurdist clowning that of their cave venue performs out like a comedically twisted tackle Flowers In The Attic. Huddersfield duo Joe Kent-Walters and Mikey Bligh-Smith are the eponymous Pretty Boys, Joe and Mikey, daft innocents who whereas away their time with nonsensical video games. In addition they reappear as their nemeses, The Naughty Boys, Spiky and Mo, naffly dangerous, equally unthreatening rebels. Elsewhere, Kent-Walters acts as a type of MC of proceedings, enjoying the boys’ disturbing Uncle Willy, maybe their jailer, whereas Bligh-Smith is a touchingly crap Robocop in rudimentary cardboard uniform.
There is a large knockabout chemistry to this duo that papers over the shortcomings of their free script, which, nonetheless units up anticipation for intentionally anticlimactic video games of Yahtzee, time journey and a nonsense imposter plot that is brutally dispatched nearly as quickly because it arrives. As an viewers member, you are compelled to get on board within the moments of crowd engagement and push the inexplicable enterprise to its unsure, rackety denouement. The pair’s dedication to their ridiculousness proves catching.
Monkey Barrel Comedy (Carnivore) (Carnivore 1), till 28 August
Paying homage to the near-silent, prop-based clowning of Spencer Jones, Soup Group’s family-friendly comedy is intermittently amusing however there are too many longueurs for an early afternoon 45 minutes. With their soup-making theme and preoccupation with horses, Phil O’Shea and James McIntosh are likeable and dedicated, partaking the group to help them of their culinary endeavours. Sadly, too typically their absurdist premises merely baffle and few linger within the reminiscence as soon as concluded. It looks like an unsparing director is required to boil the present all the way down to its palatable elements and skim off among the fats.