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Vikki Stone: Fringe 2012

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Steve Bennett

There’s a song toward the end of Vikki Stone’s show where she hits back at detractors who have taken offence at her often crude material. It’s not in the league of Tim Minchin’s Phil Daoust number, but it is a defiant assertion of her right to talk dirty, and the reasons why she does so.

She makes valid points in her defence, though the assumption that those who think any references to sex are simply easily-offended prudes is conveniently reductive, ignoring any degradations that such material can be anywhere on the spectrum from the cheap to the artful.

Yet such a smart self-referential track is evidence that Stone is maturing in her writing – even if she’s still got some way to go. Despite her protests, she does seem to have cleaned up her act this year to some extent. Even her title, Hot Mess doesn’t refer to a recent ejaculate – shame on you if you thought as much – but to Stone herself: attractive but a social  nightmare, as her Facebook albums will attest.

Yet while she’s ditched sex as the mainstay of this hour, she’s replaced it with another rather unexciting subject: celebrity culture. Her first song, belted out with spirit on the piano she plays so well, is about Sinitta; her next is about Deal or No Deal; the next is a reprisal of last year’s hit about Phillip Schofield. And she is obsessed with Hilary Devey from Dragon’s Den.

They are brassy and silly, and Stone happily humiliates herself in the name of entertainment, smearing her lipstick as she dons a Noel Edmonds beard to play her own take on Deal with the audience, even if the scene seems like so much filler.

Like so much of the show, it’s lightweight – but done with spirit. Her knowing lyrics ‘Here is the message, everyone loves a message’ at the end acknowledge that this is not a lofty hour,  and instead celebrates stupidness that’s gone before – and is about to erupt again in a gloriously tacky showstopper.

True to titular form, the show is something of a mess, built on the inconsequential. Yet she shows sparks of being more interesting if the mood takes her, while being utterly, shamelessly committed to showing off, however ridiculous it is.

Review date: 24 Aug 2012
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Underbelly Bristo Square

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