Hayley Ellis: We Need to Talk About Kevin (2 stars)

This article is from 2014

Hayley Ellis: We Need to Talk About Kevin

Photo: Andy Hollingworth

Amiable hour too timid for impact at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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.

Hayley Ellis: We Need To Talk About Kevin

  • 2 stars

Avalon Promotions Ltd Loser at life and winner at losing Hayley Ellis presents her debut hour of stand-up about love, loss and a little Lhasa Apso dog called Kevin. Fresh from supporting Roisin Conaty on tour, award-winning Ellis lets you in on her loves, losses and life-lessons learnt from a little Lhasa Apso dog. A…