Michelle Brasier: Average Bear | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Michelle Brasier: Average Bear

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

Average Bear is going into hibernation for the winter, locking herself away from the world. But Michelle Brasier is smarter than Average Bear, and is off to live her life to the fullest, for who knows what tomorrow will bring?

‘Carpe diem’ is common Fringe theme, a joyous, uplifting message from performers who embrace its ethos by the very act of going on stage. But Brasier’s reasons for being such a vehement advocate are profound and moving, which is surely why she is so thoroughly committed to sharing her powerful exuberance with the world.

Hers is a story tinged with such tragedy and sadness it's certain to bring a lump to your throat, if not a tear to your eye. Yet she does not wallow in the pathos, instead choosing to celebrate life in the most irrepressible fun way she can: with banging tunes and plenty of them.

She starts her story with her unremarkable upbringing in the
unremarkable country Australian town of Wagga Wagga. Yearning for more excitement, she moved to the big city and went to stage school... and ended up with more adventure and drama than she ever reckoned on.

Her story of agonising misadventure and painful recovery is, however, nothing compared to the heartbreak and grief that follows. She speaks on this with an affecting candour, poignantly reflecting on the emotions she felt – but ultimately emerging more determined than ever to spread fun and live life to the full.

Average Bear is very much the product of that, celebrating each day with a riot of music and good times. Brasier has one of the best voices in comedy and, backed by her partner Tim Lancaster, belts out exuberant tracks with irresistible vim. Her painful story is told with wit and pace, plus a fine eye for the comic details, and makes the most of the tragedy+time formula.

Many people might be drawn to this show because of Brasier’s supporting role in Aunty Donna’s anarchic Netflix sketch series – and they’ll find the same energy and commitment here. But Average Bear also has a tenderness and humanity at its core – and serves as a timely reminder that when things are bleak, laughing and dancing can be the best remedies.

• Michelle Brasier: Average Bear is on at Assembly George Square at 6.25pm

Review date: 9 Aug 2022
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Assembly George Square

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