Nicky Wilkinson and Friends
An awkward compromise between straight stand-up and character-based video clips at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
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.