Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Fern Brady: People Are Idiots, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jay Richardson
With her brook-no-shit attitude, this is a curious introductory show from Fern Brady, as it’s ostensibly about who she isn’t rather than who she is: a self-declared “psycho”.
A Scot living in England, she wreaks harsh revenge on those who like aping her accent. But then she doesn’t feel particularly connected to her nationality or Irish Catholic heritage either.
Despite the best efforts of the media class, she’s not a politically opinionated comic. Nor is she an obvious fit for panel shows, casting around in vain for reassurance after her appearance is mocked on Twitter. She’s not even the working-class, pill-popping Weegie people assume, or a ball-busting Feminazi, that particular shade of feminism too mild in its reprisals. Delivered in rasping tones with angry theatrical flourishes, she’s a bracing listen, and self-aware enough to ramp the aggression up to 11.
Yet her shtick only extends so far. Her targets grow less personal and more broadly dislikeable – excessively girly girls and men who apologise for swearing in front of women – producing diminishing results. A bit of xenophobia role-play with a volunteer feels like padding.
Still, when she leads the crowd in meditation techniques as an inappropriate authority on calm, it’s incongruously funny.
The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4 (Venue 12), until 30 August, 12:10pm
Published in The Scotsman on 25 August 2015
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