Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Diane Spencer: Power Tool, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jay Richardson.
Diane Spencer might have started a new genre of Fringe show here, the comic post-mortem of a previous turkey. With a new home in serious need of fixing up, last year, against her better judgment, the comic agreed to write a one-woman show for celebrity harridan Nancy Dell’Olio. The critics were not kind about Rainbows from Diamonds and audiences were defined by their willingness to witness the spectacle of a car crash.
Although there’s a significant amount of exculpation on Spencer’s part – and this is, of course, a very one-sided account – her character assassination of the deluded Italian is savagely enjoyable. Spencer is a candid comic who never shies from filth, whether in her carnal relationship with her comedian partner or conveying the full squalor of their new abode.
And you sense that the aloof, conceited and talentless Dell’Olio’s greatest crime against her was to be humourless, excising as much camp daftness from the show as possible.
Often with the look of a woman recalling the precipice of a nervous breakdown, Spencer’s expression switches to sadistic glee whenever she plunges the knife into her former employer’s back.
Not the most edifying show at the festival, Power Tool is nevertheless consistently, bitchily funny.
Gilded Balloon (Venue 14) until 31 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 17 August 2015
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