Louise Reay: Eraserhead
- Brian Donaldson
- 5 August 2018
A plight made worse by ploughing on
Normally, when a comedian is reading from their notes on stage, it means they're still in preview mode and working out whether bits of their new material should stay or go. It's not often that a stand-up is clutching a script that has been approved by their lawyers just two days before the start of the Fringe. But due to ongoing legal proceedings which resulted in the wake of Louise Reay's last hour-long show, she's been instructed that she cannot improvise in case she spills something out that can be used in court against her and that there are only a certain number of topics she can broach. Weirdly, they all appear to start with the letter 'p', such as pregnancy, pets and pizza.
What Reay is left with is, well, zilch. With a jolly hockey-sticks demeanour and a bodyguard / tech called Michael (a woman with false moustache and wig), she powers through on energy alone, but the joke-free atmosphere becomes highly claustrophobic in this already tight room.
It's easy to sympathise with her plight, but given her planned show was not deemed fit for public consumption, Reay could have brought back one of her old shows or cut some losses and pulled out completely. Instead, she's left with a 50-minute 'show' that's a waste of everyone's time.
Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire, until 26 Aug (not 14), 4.15pm, donations.