Harriet Dyer: Barking at Aeroplanes
Exciteable, fast-paced comedy in need of editing and focus, performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
Wild-eyed and excitable, Harriet Dyer launches herself onstage explaining that she recently had her bag stolen. It sounds like she's off with a great story but that's the end of it, and there's a lot of that sort of thing in this scatty show. She sets out her stall to examine 'the thin line between eccentric and mental' and in her confessional hour she promises to lay bare the various indiscretions that have peppered her life so far. Aided by a homemade prop with which she charts her psychological state, Dyer details exploits from her schooldays, stalking people on Facebook and her past dalliances with pills.
Impervious to her audience's sometimes baffled reaction, Dyer is an animated and compelling presence, although her storytelling is annoyingly prone to (scripted) distraction. A whole hour stretches her material, yet she rushes to finish up proceedings by returning to her original statement of intent before abandoning it yet again.
Alternating between endearing and annoying, Dyer is an unpredictable stage presence. She throws out non sequiturs with abandon and happily rattles on, often oblivious to the room. With some judicious editing and more focus she could be a much more polished act, but she's just not that kind of comedian.
Laughing Horse @ Bar 50, 524 1989, until 24 Aug (not 11), 8.30pm, free.