Tiff Stevenson: Optimist
Left-leaning comedy with brave personal touches at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
Under the premise of examining her own optimistic (or not) nature, Tiff Stevenson takes the pulse of the nation and a few well-aimed pot-shots at its ills. From celebrity domination to George Osborne, she offers a politicised rundown of contemporary society which, being both a feminist and a socialist, leaves her less than pleased. The NRA, female objectification and university fees provide plenty of fodder for her vitriol, which is energetically and engagingly delivered.
Amidst the left-leaning polemic is more personal material. The story of a recent health scare leads into a defence of the NHS and her use of a Twitter campaign to rekindle the country’s affection for the institution. She also bravely opens up about her previous mental health issues in a way that grounds her political views and ties together her distaste for the amount of media coverage the Kardashians get with a struggle to find meaning in her own life.
Though some of the pop culture references are a little dated, Stevenson manages to find the funny in some of modernity’s biggest flaws, providing something for both the optimists and the pessimists of the world, whether their glass is half empty or not.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 23 Aug, 9.15pm, £8.50 – £10 (£7--£9).