Writer: Ellyn Daniels
Reviewer: Tom Ralphs
A great disservice has been done to this show. It’s been placed in the comedy section of the Fringe programme with a wacky photo of performer writer Ellyn Daniels to accompany it. Let’s get this straight from the start, this is not stand-up comedy. It is a frank, brave and, at times, shocking confessional. It has an appeal that goes far wider than its position in the programme suggests.
All of which is not to say that there aren’t some very funny moments, in particular the story of a long-distance phone call asking her mother to send medication half way around the world, but the comedy is just a small part of what makes this a compelling performance.
Starting with aspirations to be a ballerina, then working through modelling, acting and eventually stand-up, Daniels takes in underage sex, bulimia, STDs, alcohol addiction and a host of other subjects that people find hard to discuss, but she recounts in full detail and without embarrassment as she tells us the true story of how she got to where she is now.
It could be a very heavy show, with the episode of Friends where Chandler is the audience for a one woman show springing to mind, but it isn’t. The quality of Daniels’ writing and the way it’s delivered, including Adam Fazel’s sound design, ensure that the audience are hooked and never uncomfortable, however dark it gets. You root for Daniels, wanting a happy ending for the show, and a bright future for her.
If you’re looking for an hour of easy gags about the pursuit of fame, this probably won’t be for you, but if you’re looking for an intelligent, well-written, superbly performed, one woman show, you’d be hard pushed to find anything better on the fringe this year.
Runs until 26 August 2017 | Image: Contributed