Hayley Ellis: We Need to Talk About Kevin
Amiable hour too timid for impact at Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
As amiable as they come, Hayley Ellis has a show which occasionally bears some rather sharp claws, but is ultimately a little too timid to hit home fully. Initially stunted early on in the run by not being in possession of a licence to have a dog on stage (pesky red tape, eh?), Ellis tells the story of her affection for canine Kevin, who during this performance showed he had quite a growl on him when being looked after by the tech guy. Or perhaps it was a pet heckling its owner in the only way it knows?
While her Lhasa Apso Kevin provided some cute succour to help Ellis through a particularly tough year featuring a faltering relationship, he isn’t capable of curing many of her life’s longer-lasting and harsher legacies. An absent father, estranged sister and a mean cousin have left some wounds that refuse to heal and she has barbs aplenty for them.
Luckily for the comedy tourists who dominate the audience here, Ellis seems happier to indulge the chattier among their number and the show dips into a Friday night club set territory. But it’s less fortunate for those of us who sensed that there might have been more of a bite to her hour.
Underbelly Bristo Square, run ended.