Kitty Flanagan: Thick
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2003
At 34, she lives in a share house with five people. She can't sing, read maps or do basic maths. She has an irrational fear of tuna and the devil. Deeply troubled? Or just a bit thick?
Kitty Flanagan gets off to a very slow start, quickly identifying herself as yet another of the scores of Fringe comedians padding their set by finding out where everyone's from and pulling out the same old regional traits. Her favourite is that people from Newcastle don't wear many clothes on a night out.
It's reasonable enough material, but nothing you won't have heard before - possibly even earlier the same day.
In fact, much of Flanagan's observational material is formulaic in approach - clinically executed and bolstered by her lively, likeable personality - but formulaic nonetheless.
Elsewhere, though, she plays with some original, clever ideas, such as her explanation of the American psyche or the fact that the French language makes no distinction between the words for monkey and ape,
At times, she can be slyly cynical, even a tad nasty, although she usually feels the need to follow the more cutting lines with some explanation to ensure the audience still love her.
Her strongest suit is her admission that, at 34, living in a shared house with students, her life hasn't turned out quite how she planned.
It's just that the show is inconsistent, with tight routines nestling next to flabby ones - the hallmark of a 20-minute set honed over years on the circuit sitting alongside 20 minutes of new material and 20 minutes of audience banter.
An in the competitive Edinburgh environment, that just doesn't make her distinctive enough.
Marty - 28/08/2003
I found her style quite refreshing. She has genuine presence and affinity with the crowd (all 30 of us). Superb show and very funny.
Ian Mennie - 11/08/2003
Awesome. Highlight of our weekend.