Beth Vyse as Olive Hands: The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (2 stars)

Beth Vyse as Olive Hands: The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

credit: Idil Sukan

A well-meaning effort that gets lost in all the props

When you walk into the venue, you are faced with a promising and intriguing set-up: there are fly swatters scattered across the front rows, a giant hand-shaped chair, an inflatable phone and a projected background that promises this show is 'sponsored by cheap white wine'. However, as the hour goes on, you realise that is all there is: random props and on-screen jokes that land better than the comedian's.

Beth Vyse has a good premise here with her Olive Hands persona: after a short-lived acting career, she's willing to do whatever it takes to get back into the limelight, even if she has to use her baby to get there. There are some entertaining moments, such as Tiny Hands' (Vyse's son, Henry) short appearances and a 'sass in life' skit that is close to being empowering. But they are heavily overshadowed by the continuous and distracting demand that the audience raise their fly swatters every time she says 'hands', an influx of forced impressions and jokes that go nowhere.

When your audience starts sharing confused looks and whispering 'what is going on?', you should know you've lost them. Vyse spends the second half of her act shouting 'I'm saving my show'. But it is, for the most part, beyond saving.

Monkey Barrel, until 26 Aug (not 15), 3.45pm, £5 in advance or donations at the venue.

Beth Vyse as Olive Hands: The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

  • 2 stars

Heroes of the Fringe The mother and baby show, like you've never seen before! She's tried everything to get back on daytime TV, but she's never gone this far before… Britain's number two in the morning, leopard-clad daytime presenter Olive Hands returns to the Fringe, and this time she thinks she's cracked it!

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