Grace Campbell: Why I'm Never Going into Politics
- Brian Donaldson
- 26 August 2019
A gag-free hour of anecdotes and awkwardness from spin doctor's daughter
For much of her childhood Grace Campbell had a rival for her father's affections, in the shape of New Labour PM, Tony Blair. For her dad is Alastair Campbell aka the arch spin doctor of the late 90s / early noughties who 'sexed up' a dossier to ease us towards war, and who may or may not have been the direct inspiration for sweary and bullying communications director Malcolm Tucker.
Admitting that she has a personality which veers wildly between arrogance and self-criticism, Grace admits to having been a mixed-up child, someone who eventually became a school bully (leading to her being ostracised from a potentially cool inner circle). Meanwhile she blames herself for the eventual rise in Jeremy Corbyn after passing on the news that David Miliband could not possibly be Labour leader due to how awful he looked when he had a spot of conjunctivitis.
But her life around the House of Commons, No 10 and hanging out with world leaders such as Putin is not the main core of this show, and she half-apologises to those in the audience who believed they were coming to a show solely about politics. Sex and her own body makes up a significant chunk of the hour and some more senior members in this room look pretty ashen-faced at the frankness of her ruminations. Sadly, Campbell doesn't really have the jokes or the stage presence to justify a full Fringe hour, but her determination to succeed would probably mean she has deaf ears to any dissenters. Which seems a lot like the men who were around her when she was growing up.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 26 Aug, 3.15pm, £10 (£9).