Elaine Malcolmson: Arrangements (3 stars)

This article is from 2015

Elaine Malcolmson: Arrangements

A downbeat delight about ashes, anxiety and arrangements

At one point during this pleasing hour, Elaine Malcolmson declares an actual gag she tells as not worthy for consideration by the Dave Joke of the Fringe panel. As is her stage persona’s wont, any achievements will be immediately downplayed, but for the record, her carefully cultivated quip (about a famous flower company) is perfectly in sync with the requirements of that prize. Then again, she has a real problem bordering on pathological loathing of florists (in the same vein that other comics reserve their bile for the Tories or religious extremists), as she declares in Arrangements, an enjoyably low-key show.

The Scottish circuit regular from Northern Ireland will be too downbeat for many tastes but her seemingly nervy delivery fits well with her subject matter of funerals as told through the bereavement tale of a young woman called Julie. If the thought of seeing someone simply reading from notes (or in this instance, a jotter containing a short story) sends shivers down the spine, fear not, as the comic intersperses the diary-style reading with her own musings.

Death, anxiety, depression, the pink and blue gender divide, what happens to ashes and a much-maligned west coast town all get a gently incisive probing from Malcolmson.

The Stand 4, 558 7272, until 30 Aug, 2.30pm, £8 (£7).

Elaine Malcolmson: Arrangements

  • 3 stars

Elaine Malcolmson You don’t need to be a florist to attend this show. It’s just a very funny story, with twists and turns. It’s fine for hayfever sufferers too, even without antihistamines. It’s just a story about making decisions. You don’t even have to like flowers to enjoy this show. It’s just a story about growing up.