Carlton Studios, Edinburgh
Carlton Studios was host to a comedy ‘Prelude’ on Wednesday evening, showcasing a medley of fine talents each airing their new material to an enthusiastic audience before letting loose at this year’s fringe festival. The first colourful act to be pulled from this evening’s bag of delights was ballsy and razor sharp Govan comedian Jay Lafferty. Jay is a promising talent and a breath of fresh air, bagging laughs like fine fruits ripe for the picking, all squishy and colourful. With an air of confidence, she smoothly relaxes her audience with some excellent, upbeat improv, firmly stamping her professionalism and wit smack on the front cover of her act. Festival cringes and saucy holiday novels splash through her set as she engages and interacts with her audience who quickly fall in unison to adore her. A true breath of fresh air.
The second comedian to take to the stage was Perrier award winner Wil Hodgson who quenches a satirical thirst with his observational gripes. Pubs, pies, pickles and paranoia are all given his critical dissection as he meanders through his hilarious ramblings. It may take some focused determination to keep up as he rick-shays unapologetically from hernias to real ale and smashes awkwardly into some imaginary voices. His bizarre edges and punky views giving a fascinating glimpse into a genuinely bizarre and interesting dude whom you could easily see yourself sharing a few pork scratchings and a pint down the pub, as he crunches effortlessly through a crisp bag of ideas.
The penultimate act of the night is the ever-charismatic Bonnie Fairbrass, a 2006 ‘So You Think You’re Funny’ semi-finalist (banned for being needlessly crude and offensive) takes to the stage with boundless energy, fabulous bursts of charm and a massively infectious smile. Her confidence and perfect timing is impeccable as she delivers fast-paced, punchy lines and hilarious anecdotes. Dysfunctional families, relationships and baggage pepper throughout her set whilst charisma and wit roll from her tongue onto a spicy narrative platter. This is comedy at its best, served up with lashings of social insight, a smidgeon of philosophy and a wee dollop of politics thrown on top.
The final act, Jay Islaam, arrives in his turban with a burst of political satire and a rather unconvincing accent! Close to the bone and not for the faint hearted he fires off a tirade of cleverly controversial one-liners aimed at provoking the audience to think about racism in a new light. Humorous, intelligent one liners bring some poignant considerations to end his clever act.
Tonight’s four acts were hosted by a confident and entertaining compere Paul McDougall, who faultlessly worked the audience into a jubilant bubble of laughter and perfectly stitched these four unwritten acts together. Overall, a feast of eclectic humour and cracking narrative smashed this evening’s showcase of talent and these comedians will do Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival proud. Watch out for a second Prelude showcase in July, and all four of these acts performing over the festival in August.
Reviewer : Teri Welsh