Gabby Killick: Conversations With My Agent | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Gabby Killick: Conversations With My Agent

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

The premise of Gabby Killick’s show is that her agent keeps offering advice about why she shouldn’t be performing one routine or another. The unfortunate, unintended consequence is that you’re likely to side with the fictional agent… if not for the reasons stated.

Those suggestions are all about caution - being relatable, marketable and, inevitably, not cancelled for being offensive. But like so many who use this card, the problem is not that she’s too edgy for delicate ears but that the comedy’s simply not that good. Saying something like: ‘I wish Savile was alive so I could give him head,’ as Killick does, is just a grim image, no joke attached.

Before the lights come up, Killick performs as the agent warning: ‘Everybody’s looking for a reason to hate you. Play it safe – but don’t be like every other female comedian and talk about your dating life.’

When she then launches into a routine about fingering and misunderstanding text-message abbreviations, I have to confess to initially thinking this was another character, a crass, hacky comedian. Reader, it was not. This is the show.

Routines about drinking and taking drugs and waxing her fanny follow - the latter at least having some merit as a gross-out humour. Asinine mentions of Rolf Harris or the OceanGate submarine tragedy turn the air decidedly frosty and she has to fight to get us back.

Apparently, Killick went viral during the pandemic with a song called Masturbation In Isolation, set to an Eminem backing track, which probably sets the tone. She performs it as part of this show, which really only serves as a reminder of how we were starved of good-quality entertainment in those strange days.

It’s a shame she’s come to the Fringe with such tired, lacklustre material as she’s a lively, engaging performer, with a broad physicality. One sketch really zings, in which she personifies all the apps on a phone, which shows off her talent for dumb caricatures and stands head and shoulders above any other routine. Also in the credit column, she has the chutzpah to  jolly audience members into joining her on stage, despite their better judgement.

A touch of reality is introduced when she tells of a creepy encounter with a music business talent-spotter, which bears repeating just to call out the gross behaviour, whch is told with a comic incredulity that he could be so brazen, 

But it’s Slim pickings otherwise, with material that wastes her energetic likeabilty and the potential for a working-class voice like hers – a cleaner by day, from the outskirts of Slough - to bring something refreshing to the Fringe.

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Review date: 4 Aug 2023
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Gilded Balloon Teviot

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