Alison Spittle @ Pleasance Courtyard

Alison Spittle brings a near-faultless hour of material to the Edinburgh Fringe – a few tweaks to the delivery would take Wet to the next level

Review by Laurie Presswood | 22 Aug 2022
  • Alison Spittle

Alison Spittle gets congratulated for being a female comedian who doesn’t speak about her vagina, she tells us. Her response has been to write Wet, an hour-long set about little else.

The show is jam-packed full of dynamite material covering things happening in and around the aforementioned vagina, with the main thread an adventure through various kinds of contraception. Spittle begins her journey in Ireland, where she spends all of her money on a £200 contraceptive bar and then can’t afford to have it removed once it’s expired (it’s still there now, she tells us). Eventually she moves to the UK, where she has a coil fitted on the NHS (at this point comparisons are naturally drawn between Spittle’s two favourite things about the UK: the NHS and So Solid Crew).

Spittle has a natural ability as a storyteller, often delivering punchlines with a faux relaxedness as though she herself doesn’t realise the comedic significance of what she’s just said. While this is no doubt part of her charm, the delivery at times risks becoming sleepy, and occasionally the audience miss opportunities to laugh because they don’t register that she’s just delivered a punchline. More importantly, the show’s pivotal moment (a revelation of sexual harrassment at the hands of a club promoter), gets slightly lost in all of the hilarious material on either side. That’s not to say we need Spittle to perform her pain and upset for us, nor does it need to feel sombre, but it is a shocking moment for the crowd. The story would resonate better if it were allowed a chance to breathe and generate more of a sense of how Spittle feels about it.

Spittle relaxes into her material over the course of the show (and some leeway has to be given here on account of the heat in The Pleasance's attic), but it can be frustrating, given how small tweaks would take her near-faultless material to the next level.

Alison Spittle: Wet, Pleasance Courtyard, daily until 28 Aug, 4.45pm (Attic) and 25 Aug, 8.45pm (Beside), £10-13