Alice Fraser: Ethos

The Edinburgh Fringe is a wonderful thing, you get to see things you wouldn’t really get anywhere else in life. For example, Alice Fraser presents us with a comedy double act involving a futuristic AI, that includes a parody of a Kenny Rogers song. This is a collection of things that never really needed to be put together, but it is a very good thing that they were.

 

Okay, so it becomes clear very near the beginning of the show that the AI is only there as a gimmick, a device (ha!) to set up straight lines that would be more difficult to work in with straight stand-up, but that really isn’t the point. Even behind the smoke and mirrors of the premise this is one of the smartest and funniest hours of comedy you are ever likely to see. Taking in one’s ethnicity and culture (including a wonderful routine on the Golem of Prague), sexual politics and the me too movement, and what it means to be human, this hour is as thoughtful as it is hilarious. Fraser is an incredibly engaging performer, who seems to be legitimately enjoying performing the material she is presenting, and although there are some slower moments where the momentum dulls slightly, she never loses the audience.

 

The narrative of the hour seems slightly squishy, by Fraser’s own admission, and there seems to be about five punchlines in the last two minutes that feel like they should end the show but don’t, but these are minor gripes. This is joyful, intelligent, well-researched and well thought out comedy, that will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Fraser has been developing something of a cult following in the comedy world, and this show will show you exactly why you should allow yourself to become indoctrinated.

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Scott Redmond

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