Edinburgh Fringe Review: Laura Lexx, Gilded Balloon

News: Klopp for Laura – Two Book Deal For Comedian After Viral Tweets

A reviewer once said of Laura Lexx that "one can only hope there's some life-altering catastrophe around the corner for Lexx". Even though it was presumably said with its tongue firmly in its cheek, it did nail one of the problems of the Edinburgh Fringe. If you want to win awards it helps if you have a personal angle. This is not compulsory yet, it just feels that way.

And this time round the Brighton-based comic has just the thing for the Fringe. Trying is about how she went from having a lovely happy marriage to a breakdown via her attempts to conceive. Doesn't sound very funny does it? But this is definitely a comedy show and not an article in Psychiatry Today, so Lexx gets plenty of laughs out of her emotional tribulations.

The tale is bookended with anecdotes about family camping holidays. One as a child, one as an adult. There is a rich vein of humour in her memories of how people made their own fun under canvas pre-smartphones and how things are both very different and just the same two decades on. Elsewhere she paints a sharp, recognisable picture of smug mums who cannot resist giving advice you don't ask for. 

If there is a niggle it is that at times there are sections, such as her riff about being asked about her skincare regime in an eco-friendly make-up shop, that feel a little too much like neatly packaged comedy club routines. Not that that is a particular issue as Lexx - who is an assured stand-up and respected compere – delivers her material so well. She has an engaging personality and the ability to make working the room look effortless.

She is enthusiastic, punchy and persuasive when necessary but also changes the mood deftly when her story touches on the bad times. As well as generating laughs she generates sympathy without ever resorting to a manipulative sob story or seeming needy.

Trying is a show that gets its audience on board from start to finish. It goes from light to dark and back to light and, despite the specific angle, is always relatable. OK, I may not have ever been asked about my skincare regime or been pregnant, but Lexx is skilful enough to make me feel as if I have. 

Until August 26. Tickets here.

Read more Edinburgh Fringe reviews here.

***

editor's note - this is probably a classic "3 stars that reads like a 4 star review". This show is better than three, maybe not quite four though. Unfortunately the ridiculous, reductive star system doesn't allow BTJ to give out 3.49 stars, otherwise that's what this would have got.

Stripey topped picture by Karla Gowlett.

 

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