Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: Rachel Parris – The Commission at Counting House (Venue 170), reviewed by Kate Copstick
As I sit and laugh and nod and love this show, I remember a couple of conversations I have had recently with Very Important People in the comedy world.
It is hard, they opined, maybe even impossible, for good-looking women to be funny. Well, I do hope they come down and see Rachel Parris. She is blonde, gorgeous, talented and very funny. And her comedy suits her. Her delivery and timing are as precise and skilled as hand-etched glass. The show is cleverly layered up with songs she has ostensibly been “commissioned” (the clue was in the title) to write by people like the Disney Channel, her best friend who is marrying “a terrible tool”, and Simon Cowell. Between and around these she weaves little autobiographical narratives.
There are songs about babies (she is not a fan) and drugs, a love song quite unlike any you have heard and a version of the Blues that will leave you unable to hear that classic bluesey intro ever again without laughing.
Her advice on sex and thoughts on exercise are uproarious, and the section at the end about Caroline (who is marrying the terrible tool) poignantly funny. That sweet (or possibly sour) spot between laughter and tears is a hard one to hit but Parris does. This is classy, clever, controlled comedy and Parris has a great comedy persona. It is polite but just occasionally, slightly threatening. She has, it must be said, a great voice and she bends and stretches it across a variety of musical genres.
Like all great comics, she can take the room where she wants. The song for Caroline is a definite Kleenex moment, but Parris just picks us up, dabs our eyes and belts out the ridiculous song she has been “commissioned” to write for Cowell.
Until 25 August. Today 4pm
More info: Rachel Parris – The Commission is at Counting House
Originally published in The Scotsman