Tiff Stevenson: Bombshell (3 stars)

This article is from 2017

Tiff Stevenson: Bombshell

credit: Steve Ullathorne

A spot of welcome light relief closes a passionate if occasionally misplaced rant

One too many bombshells have dropped in the past year for Tiff Stevenson. Things started feeling 'apocalypsey' for her when Trump got into power, and the Grenfell Tower fire in the area where she grew up seemed like more soul-crushing proof of the government's 'contempt for the poor'.

Her bile rises as she calls out BBC reporter Victoria Derbyshire for taking offence at Grenfell resident Peaky Saku, who swore while giving an eyewitness account, as he suggested it wasn't an accident. The policing of his language made her blood boil and leads to a soaring rant: 'that's no joke,' she says, defiantly. 'That's just anger.'

Stevenson makes many excellent points (manspreading on the underground, toxic masculinity among world leaders, numbskulls on Twitter) but a confrontational delivery slaps a barrier between her and the crowd. It's as though she assumes they want a square go. Comparing reticent Edinburgh crowds to her non-demonstrative Scottish boyfriend, she doesn't seem to consider that they could actually be on her side (or craving more laughs amongst the vitriol). A 70s disco finale is a welcome attempt to lighten the heavy mood as she acknowledges that traumatised London (and maybe herself) needs to heal now.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 27 Aug, 5.30pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11).

Tiff Stevenson: Bombshell

The critically acclaimed stand-up – as seen on Mock The Week, 8 Out of 10 Cats and the BAFTA nominated People Just Do Nothing – offers smarty, witty and culturally acute material.