Rachel Fairburn: The Wolf at the Door
- Brian Donaldson
- 26 August 2018
A gag shortage during yet another comedian's misery hour
If you're one of those people who have been waiting years for a Fringe comic to deliver a Dennis Norden impersonation, then that lengthy impasse is finally over. The dark edge to this moment in Rachel Fairburn's show is its foreshadowing of her sense of self-worth having been shot to pieces: her dad virtually disowns her for mimicking the 1980s clip-show TV presenter at a school talent contest. Before things turn properly bleak in The Wolf at the Door, there's plenty fun to be had at the expense of the Mancunian accent and the kind of risible tat you might stumble across in garden centre shops.
But all that jovial chatter is the precursor for yet another comedian's misery memories of a dark period in their life; specifically for Fairburn this is during the last 12 months when a six-year relationship came to an end, and best friendships became strained to breaking point. It's undoubtedly a sad story of making mistakes and trying to seek forgiveness, but there's not a huge amount of laughs in there to keep the light and shade in balance. At a festival when every second comic has been displaying their open wounds, gags are the salvation for an audience. There just aren't enough here to alleviate the despair.
Underbelly Bristo Square, until 27 Aug, 9.30pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).