Danielle Ward: Seventeen
Pleasant hour from a comic who once skirted along the danger zone
During her hour about the time she was 17, Danielle Ward recognises that stand-ups reading out entries from their teenage diary might be one of the most hack things you can do in an Edinburgh show. Indeed it might even be a necessity 'in order to get a Fringe licence'. But it becomes clear that her diary is a fake when she pulls out a Sylvia Plath joke which gets such a reaction that you will easily conclude that 53 years on from her suicide might still be 'too soon'.
It also serves as a reminder that Ward was previously viewed as one of the darker breed of young female comics, but now treads an intricate line between heavier material and lighter fare which has perhaps watered down her potency. While there are references to self-harm, incest and rape (she tackles the latter subject with a slapdown for a male comic who is a well-known teller of such gags), this is largely a jovial knockabout show (with songs, of course) in which she offers advice to contemporary 17-years-old girls.
Predictably, her pearls of wisdom are well off the mark and she proclaims herself to be far from role model material. Instead she focuses on slamming the Tories, castigating Blair and recalling an awkward evening at a party in Sting's house. Danielle Ward is still an entertaining comedic proposition for an afternoon visit, but the danger has evaporated from her act.
Just the Tonic at the Caves, until 28 Aug, 2.40pm, £6.