Emma Horton's Somebody Shut Her Up turned out to be a character-sketch thing. This came as a shock since we were expected normal stand-up. It was in one of the Underbelly pits, in a room with about 14 people, and about 90 chairs. Suddenly, she's standing nearby saying "I'm going to play the lead" in a loud voice and we think "Who's the mad woman?" So while our brains are getting in gear and making the adjustment, she's losing ground with her audience.
The sketches were:
- The self-obsessed deluded starlet wannabie diva (prologue and epilogue). Okay.
- One of Henry VIII's wives, with modern sensibilities. This was the funniest. Despite the song.
- A fake in-touch-with-the-angels religious preacher/scammer. Just bearable.
- A northern working-class pop-idol entrant. Okay.
I suspect that the empty room, 14:20pm start and sudden start lost her a lot of response, since she can definitely act, sing and has a lot of stage presence.
Funny Women on the Fringe weren't, generally. MC was pretty good, there was a winner (or semi-finalist) of the award who barely got going, a Canadian with facile observations that didn't go anywhere, a blonde with over-acted material who was effecting playing to responses she expected but didn't get, another sketch woman who did a bad public speaker (not bad, but not my thing) and a Pan's People pisstake that was sadly screwed up by technical problems. And Jo Coffee (however that was pronounced, since it wasn't written down anyway) who was actually and genuinely funny and reacted naturally to the crowd. I don't think I'd pay to see her again, but she was the only one of whom I'd like to have seen more.
We skipped our planned third show, since it was a freebie, and miles away, and went straight to Dara O' Briain, who was just brilliant. Not as good as Addison from Day I, but bloody good all the same. Marvellous routine about the Milky Bar Kid, and just all-round fantastic. It was only a day later that I remembered that he's supposed to have been performing on crutches after a knee operation a couple of weeks ago, but they weren't in sight for our show.
And that was it. Another Fringe over with.
Can I have some sleep now, please?