Edinburgh Fringe Preview: Loretta Maine

Loretta Maine

Why do some comedy characters take hold and not others? Why, for instance, did Al Murray’s Pub Landlord play the O2 Arena while Sol Bernstein is only at the Leicester Square Theatre? Don't ask me, I’m just a critic. Pippa Evans started out doing booze-fuelled C&W singer Loretta Maine in short bursts, but she soon started doing whole shows and it wouldn't surprise me if this needy Nashville neurotic grew to epic proportions. The last time I saw Maine in Edinburgh the first twenty minutes of her gig was as good as a comedy gig gets – high-octane laughs and hilarious songs with a delicious undertow of heartbreak and pathos brought on by a mix of unrequired love and white wine. The Guardian apparently dubbed here "Dolly Parton seen through the lens of Mike Leigh", but that description barely scrapes the surface of the madness of her opening salvoes. Now all she has to do is keep that up for an hour. She is previewing at the new Crouch End Art House tonight with fast-talking Zoe Lyons, whose observational style is much more straightforward, but consistently on the money when it comes to finding the funny.

Loretta Maine is at the Assembly George Square Gardens from July 31 to August 24. Tickets here.

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