Fiona Ridgewell: No-Nonsense | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
review star review star review half star review blank star review blank star

Fiona Ridgewell: No-Nonsense

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

You’ll leave Fiona Ridgewell’s show feeling you’ve had a life update from a quirky but easy-going friend. The material avoids any big themes, as you might expect from the No-Nonsense title, but it’s mainly unexceptional to the point of blandness, with material that’s only loosely tied together.

Noting how ‘life can change with a click of the fingers’, she tells how she’s recently had a break-up and moved back in with her mother, a passive-aggressive woman who says of her daughter’s artistic ambitions: ‘I support you but don’t believe in you.’

Ridgewell also introduces us to her ex, Jamie, and the main supporting character in the hour, her best friend Claire with her ‘toxic positivity’, brought to life with vivid descriptions.

Of the comedian herself, we learn she was a ‘girly girl’ as a child with an obsession with Disney Princesses that endures to this day – and which fits in with her naive belief in the positive power crystals, even as she tacitly acknowledges it may be a bit bonkers. But there’s another side to her, as she’s a keen boxer too.

She goes through her every physical hang-up, from a long neck to massive nostrils – none of which a dispassionate observer would ever notice – as well as chatting about Percy Pigs, stuff being dumped in neighbour’s front gardens and mood boards. 

Nothing really amounts to much, apart from an advocacy for Prosecco and mates telling you you’re a strong, independent woman to heal what ails you. For much of her material, she deploys a mock-incredulous ‘what are they like?!’ intonation instead of punchlines.

The hour, which was named joint best newcomer at the ISH awards, is padded out by plenty of audience banter – including one punter who had a surprisingly detailed response to a question about hanging socks out to dry. Her easy chit-chat feeds into her effortless likeability, but also feels like filler in an already slight show.

And when a revelation at the fertility clinic threatens to add some heft to proceedings, the topic is quickly dismissed with some lame ‘womb with a view’-style puns. 

Occasionally she hits on something stronger, including a lovely opening gag about not needing our validation, but it’s not really enough to sustain a fragmented and clumsily tied-up show. The climax has her suddenly concluding that all her problems could have been cured with a Disney Brunch, sparking a dress-up singalong. But, to repurpose an old gag, it disnae amount to much.

Review date: 28 Aug 2023
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: PBH's Free Fringe @ Banshee Labyrinth

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.