Nicky Wilkinson and Friends (2 stars)

This article is from 2014.

Nicky Wilkinson and Friends

An awkward compromise between straight stand-up and character-based video clips at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

An oddly structured ragbag, Nicky Wilkinson's show is an awkward compromise between two distinct modes of comedy.

It begins as a conventional stand-up performance, with Wilkinson promising to introduce some friends later on. 'Aha,' twigs the audience, 'so she's also a character comedian'. Well, yes. Just don't expect her to perform any characters in person. Instead, she repeatedly interrupts her flow to show pre-filmed solo sketches in which she appears in various guises.

They're presumably part of her show-reel, and while she's a good actress – the clips also reveal a slightly darker sensibility – their inclusion feels like lazy padding. She clearly hasn't worked out how to incorporate these characters into her set, and that lack of effort feels vaguely insulting.

The disjointedness is compounded by the jarring introduction of another comic to the stage. Russ Peers' brief, mildly amusing set feels like a favour to a friend who obviously hasn't got enough material to fill 60 minutes on her own.

As a stand-up Wilkinson has decent timing and a warm, engaging, no-nonsense style, but her observations are wholly unoriginal. This half-baked show suggests she's more interested in bagging a TV sketch vehicle.

St John's, until 25 Aug, 1.15pm, free.

Nicky Wilkinson and Friends

  • 2 stars

Nicky Wilkinson / La Favorita Freestival UK rising comedy star Nicky Wilkinson brings you an hour of rip-roaring stand-up, comic characters and special guest performers. Finalist New Act of the Year 2013, finalist So You Think You're Funny 2013. ‘Effortless likeability and an excellent comic timing’ (Chortle.co.uk).

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