Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Jenny Bede: Don’t Look at Me, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jay Richardson.
A charismatic comic with a fine singing voice and slick songwriting skills, Jenny Bede’s debut show would doubtless put her on television commissioners’ radar were she not already an emerging broadcast fixture.
Introducing herself as a deeply reluctant party girl, who’d rather be at home watching Game of Thrones in her dressing gown than reliving her twenties in a sweat-drenched Magaluf club, Don’t Look at Me initially promises an insubstantial hour of lightly amusing but thoroughly unmemorable tunes.
Yet it steadily improves with each song, unpalatable conceits like mashing up the lyrics of “sensitive” rapper Drake with her mum’s emails, and an emoji protest at her boyfriend, proving surprisingly apposite and witty.
Squaring her feminist resolve with the more misogynist aspects of the hip hop she enjoys is a quandary Bede sets herself, one that she solves with sass and panache. Blithely ignoring the supposed final taboo of stand-up – material about periods – with an uplifting final number, it nevertheless pales in comparison to the Blurred Lines parody that precedes it. Attentive in her crowd work, Bede has delivered a perkily upbeat show with an artful dash of edge.
Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) until 30 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 11 August 2015
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