Linda (3 stars)

This article is from 2018

Freya Slipper: Linda

Quietly effective character comedy about those who make others happy

Freya Slipper shows her obvious talent as a character comic in this understated show about unsung heroes. The titular character (a 57-year-old librarian and divorcee) never actually appears in Slipper's show, in which she's selected against the odds to embark on an expedition to Mars despite possessing none of the athletic or scientific qualities specified and being well outside the ideal age bracket. Instead, Linda imagines everybody left behind – her colleagues, her family, and the eccentric leader of her weekly Zumba class – through a series of sketches.

The format is clearly perfect for Slipper, a gifted voice actor, and while the sketches themselves are hit and miss (the Zumba one strays into repetitive catchphrase territory), the overall story is a refreshing one. The Fringe rewards bold artistic statements and powerful takes on the issues of the day, and this year it's quite clearly #MeToo that's dominating the discourse. Amongst the noise, Linda is a quiet homage to the people who devote so much of their energy to making others happy: the mothers, grandmothers and devoted friends. The message is not to forget about these people. The show is delivered with conviction and passion, and it's quietly effective.

Underbelly George Square, until 27 Aug, 8pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).


  • 3 stars

Freya Slipper / Keepers Comedy Funny Women award winner Freya Slipper's (CBBC, The Free Association) debut character show explores the power of social media and what happens when an ordinary person does something extraordinary – like going to space. Linda has been catapulted from working at the library to rubbing…