Eleanor Tiernan – Help The Frigid

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review (comedy): Eleanor Tiernan – Help The Frigid at Laughing Horse @ The Counting House (Venue 170). Reviewed by Jay Richardson

In A festival fit to bursting with egos and adrenaline, it’s refreshing to encounter Eleanor Tiernan instigating a one-woman campaign for frigidity. To be clear, by frigidity she is referring to emotional caution and sense over sentimentality, as much as to sexual matters.

Uncomfortable with contemporary ideals of romance as propagated by confectionery, she maintains that the frigid are persecuted in society, with those who castigate celebrities for appearing aloof not appreciating their sacrifice in a post-Operation Yewtree world.

With an appealing blend of self-abasement and stridency, towards hipsters in particular, her musing on whether its OK to like Chris Brown’s music establishes an internal debate about whether she can call herself a feminist. Reasoning that women shouldn’t always support other women, the comedian in her will even turn an imagined sexual assault into material given the opportunity.

Indeed, such is Tiernan’s low-key, deliberately undersold delivery, that she doesn’t receive enough credit for her daring and inventiveness, with the mind games of hypothetical scenarios she engages in with a young homeless man an outstanding routine.

The frigid theme is spread a little thin for the wide-ranging thoughts she has, but she reiterates what a distinctive, inspired comic mind she possesses.

Until 24 August. Tomorrow 8:15pm, more info

Originally published in The Scotsman

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