Dana Alexander: Breaking Through. Udderbelly’s Wee Coo 10.35pm 1st -27th August (not 13th)


I will keep this review short and sweet as this is perhaps the best way to describe the show itself. I saw Alexander last year and was impressed by her choice not to use her full allotted full hour slot like most comics- most of whom fail to sustain the audience’s attention and end up losing them at some point- and her show was all the better for it. Short, sharp and punchy Alexander delivered an impressive set which never dragged and then left the stage and her audience more than satisfied. This year however she seems to have confused the Fringe with the Olympics and set out to beat her personal best time as last nights show lasted barely thirty minutes.

Despite this her thirty minutes were extremely well used and her act was extremely funny, seemingly spontaneous and clever. However it took almost ten minutes to really get going and then just felt as if it had taken flight when she finished up and left the stage following that old stage-school maxim of leaving the audience wanting more. This in some ways is a good thing as often I leave stand up wanting less and perhaps all she has to do is fine tune those first ten minutes and she could have a perfect act.

The subject matter ranged from guns, wills, families-including an extended slot featuring a hilarious Facebook argument/exchange with her Grandmother- and her penchant for smoking weed. Adverts and the English habit of solving every crisis with a cup of tea were also in the firing line and Alexander had well thought out observations on all these matters. Her recent move to a gay neighbourhood in London also provided several laughs.

It was all over just that little bit too quickly though and somehow felt unfinished. Personally I would prefer stand up to last half an hour as this is about as much as a lot of comedians can successfully muster and if Alexander is making a statement and a point then I feel it is brave and worthwhile one. It did however leave those sitting next to me slightly non-plussed and feeling short changed which is unfortunate as it was a good show. Never one to outstay her welcome Alexander perhaps needs to hang around for just that little bit longer to keep her public happy in the next three weeks

.  This could so easily have been a four star show but unfortunately its shortness somewhat failed it as it took so long to get going at the beginning and whilst this would be acceptable in a forty five to one hour show it is not so acceptable in a show which barely lasts thirty minutes.


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