There are so many excellent female comedians smashing the Fringe this year that it felt like a cruel trick of comedy. With such a limited time frame, who to go and see and who to forgo until next time? Never an easy decision, but you have to make your choices and have your laughs. So, alongside all those funny ladies you may already know about, such as Sara Pascoe and Tiff Stevenson, two other top fringe picks for me were Rachel Parris and Becky Brunning. Smart, clever woman delivering great sets that are worth checking out.
Imagine you are invited back to your old school to give a motivational and inspiring speech about life, success and growing up.Would you have any countless pearls of wisdom to share? This is the premise of Rachel Parris' new show 'Keynote'; Rachel is heading back to her school to talk to the girls and she really needs our help. Her speech isn't written yet, the clock is ticking and time is running out. Cue a hilarious mixture of chat, character comedy and songs to put across her point that, well, what is the point? You may have seen Parris recently on the BBC2 show The Mash Report, where her smiling, glossy social media correspondent psychosis shines. In 'Keynote', Parris chooses to say what we are all secretly thinking. Yes, there are kids out there that we just don't like (and secretly fear) and no, there are absolutely no redeeming features of the Kardashians. It's a slick show, well paced and at points had me crying with laughter. Clever and entertaining, it's worth it alone for the music video parody; they've never made any sense to me either.
I've never seen Broadchurch and I'm well aware that I am probably in a small minority of the population. However, I am reliably informed (by the woman herself) that Becky was indeed in it. I do know enough to figure out that Broadchurch was not a fast paced comedy, so I was intrigued to see what Becky's comedy would be all about. Turns out that 'Beaming' is her debut fringe show and to say it was promising would be an utter understatement. Confident and natural in front of a room full of people, Becky assured us that it's ok not to be cool and then preceded to wing us through her (explicitly not cool) life. From her multiple driving tests, to the overwhelming experience of Pret a Manger, to her recent marriage; the laughs are relatable and told with a self effacing charm. She interacts frequently with the audience, drawing them in to the routine, which always helps when you're playing a small venue. Mining personal experience is a winner when it comes to stand up and you feel like you're in a very funny safe pair of hands. Besides, who doesn't think they are one of the gorgeous people after a pint and a half? We all do Becky.