Review: Bec Hill, Soho Theatre

Bec Hill

Bec Hill's show Ellipsis... was all about winning awards and afterwards she bagged a couple. She came up with the nation's favourite toilet joke (see below) and won he inaugural Barry Award (the Edinburgh version set up by Barry Ferns) for Best Show, voted for by fellow performers. Hill is a pocket-sized perma-punning bundle of energy. It's impossible to be bored when she is onstage as she jumps from gags to gag, prop to prop, whimsical riff to whimsical riff. This review below first appeared in the Evening Standard here. Hill's Soho run is over now but you can see her gigging all over the place. Sometimes doing this show, sometimes doing short sets, sometimes doing shows for kids. More details here.

Events have overtaken this show since it premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe last summer. Ellipsis concerns perky stand-up Hill's fruitless attempts to win a comedy award. Then in November she bagged a gong — a golden loo seat, no less — for coining the nation's favourite toilet joke: "For Christmas last year I got given Sudoku toilet paper. It's useless. You can only fill it in with number ones and number twos."

That gag does not feature in her slightly updated London transfer but many of the quips here have a similarly corny appeal, prompting the audience to wince and giggle simultaneously. The smiley Australian specialises in penning puns and liberally peppers this set with some weapons-grade groaners.

The moral of this bouncy, busy show, that one should never give up hope and always say boo to self-doubt, is pretty corny too. But it gives Hill the opportunity to rattle through her various talents. She is an impressive lo-fi animator, bringing her sketchpad cartoons to life via ingenious cardboard tabs. There is magic too, majoring on charm rather than Derren Brown-style pyrotechnics.

In fact, it is Hill’s effervescent personality that carries the performance whenever the energy occasionally dips. She is impossible to dislike, as is this very funny show. Even if Ellipsis does not provide Hill with further awards it suggests that she is destined to win a lot more fans. 


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