Bella Hull: Babycakes | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
review star review star review half star review blank star review blank star

Bella Hull: Babycakes

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

Bella Hull is chatty, charming, engaging and very girly. ‘Cut me, and I bleed pink gin’, she asserts.

But these are not really assets here. There’s so much untapped potential in her underlying ideas, ready to be released if only she would lose the fear of people disliking her. Because her stand-up persona absolutely deserves to be disliked.

She’s an entitled, shallow Gen-Zer who feels as if she should be treated like a princess. Drifting through life while learning nothing, she wants to spend money, not earn it and have a romcom relationship just fall at her feet, leading to the middle-class idyll of a kitchen island and eventually to be worshipped as a milf.

By rights, Hull should be a monster: demanding, impatient and narcissistic. But these traits are not exaggerated much – as if she doesn’t want to go the extra mile, just as her inherently lazy stage alter-ego would never put a shift in.

So while her iconoclastic shunning of feminist ideals and threats to avenge those who have wronged her are appealing prospects, it’s weakened by her naturally agreeable demeanour. There are also some contradictions, such as describing how she’s attracted to toxic men one minute and tidy people the next.

Some of her personality can surely be ascribed to her parents’ very bitter divorce when she was 11. There are some fine nuggets of dark comedy here, touching on her father’s psychotic breakdown, with her trauma repackaged as ‘character building’. But she moves on too quickly.

At other times, she lingers too much. Hull can write a pithy line, with the best combining the assumed egotism with disdain at her own shortcomings. But they are too far apart in a chatty and circuitous hour, that doesn’t have the killer instincts to pack them in tightly.

Yet for all this, I hope – and expect – we’ll see more of Hull. What this persona could develop into is intriguing, and she has the natural presence to be able to pull it off, which is why it’s frustrating that she’s only scratched the surface here.

Review date: 30 Aug 2022
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

Live comedy picks

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.