Angela Barnes: Fortitude (3 stars)

This article is from 2017

Angela Barnes: Fortitude

Surprisingly punchline-light hour about ageing, Trump and heavy poetry

Quite probably the only thing Angela Barnes has in common with Adolf Hitler is a love of secret bunkers. She just can't get enough of them, so when her boyfriend treated her to an evening in one just before her 40th birthday, the comedian could barely have been happier. But then world events conspired to muck up her big day with the results of the US presidential election slowly trickling in the next morning.

As much as Barnes is not a fan of Trump, she has quite a few other targets in her sights: people who go on about the fact that she's childless, New Zealanders telling the world (over and over again) that Lord of the Rings was filmed there, and folk who loudly proclaim that they have a bucket list being three of them.

The underlying thrust of Fortitude is that ageing is really nothing to be scared of (though if you're a woman, perhaps it's a little bit more terrifying), but there are surprisingly few big laughs from a comic with such an easy manner on stage. As Barnes focuses a little bit too much on memories and artefacts from the 80s of her childhood, she criticises Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke for a lack of punchlines in his heavy verse. Rilke could justifiably heckle from beyond the grave that she might want to knock her own script into shape first before casting aspersions.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug (not 14), 7.15pm, £7.50–£10 (£6.50–£9).

Angela Barnes: Fortitude

  • 3 stars

Off the Kerb Productions Following sell-out Fringe shows in 2014 and 2015, Angela Barnes (Mock The Week, Alan Davies' As Yet Untitled, Russell Howard's Good News, BBC Radio 4's The News Quiz, host of Newsjack on BBC Radio 4 Extra) is back with her brand new 2017 show, Fortitude. Stand-up and stories from a reluctant 40…