Just the Tonic at The Caves
Aug 8-14, 16-28 (14:20)
238 lunar months have passed since the finale of the supernova 2019 Fringe. Since then we have had socially distanced mini-fringes in people’s back gardens thro the summer of 2020, & last year’s ‘Five Percent Fringe’ which I attended rather like the time your third cousin thrice removed adds you to the wedding guest list cos they don’t have any real mates. But, 2022 is a completely different story & the world has once again descended on an Edinburgh August with much enthusiasm to entertain & be entertained. Its also given all the artists 3 years to perfect their shows. In one particular corner a legion wanders amongst us wondering who is set to change the face of comedy, & who is taking a year out to just enjoy themselves & try the material that they really like, while all the time industry opinion lies like hungry sharks off the estuaries of Peru.
So, to Hannah Fairweather, my first comedian of 2022. I’d set off from home on Arran on the 11 am ferry & reached Waverly at 2.12, giving me precisely 8 minutes to make the show. Arriving out of breath I took a seat at the back in time to hear Hannah’s irrepressibly seductive opening salvoes, a really entertaining introductory unicorn bounce thro, ‘hello I’m Hannah, & welcome to my show’. I was immediately glad to be there.
Before I started doing this I thought I was my own worst critic
Hannah’s sparkling sense of humour began life as a defence mechanism, & has now turn’d into a full-blown career, & as she spreads her comedy’s metaphysical arms around the room, an hour with her flows rapidly, it really does. Entering the corridors & chambers of her theme, we met a number of individuals in Hannah’s life who have wound her up the wrong way, & are now getting it. After the starbirth opening, the show trots on at more sedate a pace where it felt like Hannah was striking a box of comedy matches, her flaring punchlines & epithetical observations illuminating the room with the laughter-light of her clear talent. One of the matches would occasionally be dud, for me anyway that is, tho’ I did feel the room was enjoying the entirety rather more than I was.
Young, humble, exquisitely intelligent & artistically eloquent, Hannah gives her all with a face that is a constant & inviting portrait of lambkin happiness. She’s proper buzzing, you can tell, & that thoroughly infected the room. For me, I think her ability to find & convert comedy is a gift, & OK she’s relatively young, so maybe with the garnering of more life experience her material will be injected with better stuff than getting caught drinking in an American student dorm. She should be striding forward into an optimistic future & not looking back in time for up to a decade with a hiss. But that’s the only negative, I think, she was generally & genuinely funny, & its worth a visit just to laugh at, & with, Hannah. She’s on at 2.20 in the afternoon, so just go!