Kylie Brakeman Presents: Linda Hollywood's Big Hollywood Night | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Kylie Brakeman Presents: Linda Hollywood's Big Hollywood Night

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

In creating her showbiz agent Linda Hollywood, American comic Kylie Brakeman takes the familiar stereotype of a slick bullshitter and adds both a twist of plucky old-school Tinseltown chutzpah and a dash of modern cynicism.

A single-minded workaholic and powerful force of pure self-belief, she schmoozes with the best of them – and if she occasionally lets the truth slip out, she has the bluster to get away with it.

She’s here to tell us how to make it big in the movies. Pro tip #1: be born rich. Even for those who didn’t have the foresight to have that attribute, Linda – herself a graduate of the Disney Conservatoire Of Hamming It Up – has the insider know-how to make anyone a star. She proves it by plucking some poor schmuck from the audience and taking them in five brisk minutes from melodramatic Doritos advert audition to awards glory to inevitable cancellation – and even comeback via the last refuge of the unwoke: stand-up comedy.

All the while, she’s fielding calls as she mounts a fightback against being cancelled herself after a sexist comment she made in an interview causes her high-profile clients to abandon her.

This is an hour that leans heavily on industry gags. Our audience mark isn’t even the only character to do stand-up. We also meet a six-year-old, whining about being divorced with all the bitter weariness of a circuit veteran, and an archetypal blokey comic, taking to the stage with a crate of beer and some awful puns. 

Brakeman also offers some subtle and not-so-subtle swipes at the sexism endemic in the entertainment industry, including a hilariously gratuitous clip from the 2010 B-movie Dinoshark that’s easy to mock, but still deserves to be. 

There’s also a sharp parody of Samantha from Sex And The City, and in a sillier vein, we meet the gossipy Eva Lil Something Something, an ancient TV sex therapist talking in coy but sassy pre-war euphemisms that render her advice meaningless – but delightfully amusing – nonsense

In-jokes may be Brakeman’s speciality but have an appeal beyond the showbusiness world – as proved by the 60million views her videos racked up over lockdown. But her draw is even stronger in the room than on screen as her precise yet energetic performance brings a sassy energy to all the alter egos she rattles through at an impressive lick. 

A bit more variation in the intensity levels of these performances would not have gone amiss, but this Fringe debut proves a strong calling card for Brakeman – the one performer whose career Linda Hollywood is certain to bolster.

• Kylie Brakeman Presents: Linda Hollywood's Big Hollywood Night is on at Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose at 7pm.

Review date: 20 Aug 2022
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Gilded Balloon Patter House

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