Bryony Twydle @ Underbelly Bristo Square
A very promising solo debut with a flair for characterisation from Bryony Twydle
Bryony Twydle is usually part of the sketch quintet The Jest. In number she goes one better here, introducing six characters for her debut solo hour. And she retains the energy of a sketch show – with notable consistency – to the point it's hard to believe she has no stage partners to bounce off. It offers her a refreshing and compelling presence.
Flamingo becomes truly intriguing a little before the half way mark, when Twydle brings on Hector, her third character. Hector at first seems cut from a similar cloth as Harry Enfield's Tim Nice-But-Dim – although Hector is a bit more of a dough ball.
As he waits for his mother to pick him up, and to hear if he got into Eton, Twydle layers him with considerable vulnerability. Then, furthering her skill at bringing 360 degrees to characterisation, it becomes apparent her creations are connected. It's both a neat way of bringing a character showcase together, without feeling contrived, and a subtle way to tell a wider story.
The only limitation is that sometimes Twydle is a victim of her own success. Her characters – whether it's a shopping channel presenter, a safety tutor or a sex therapist – don't seem quite as inspired as the ideas she gives them. Those ideas veer into some dark and even hallucinogenic territory, and leave lingering images of driving with ghosts or a bus made from the foodstuff that's on the mind of a hungry boy. And it's in these details where Twydle reveals abundant potential.
Bryony Twydle: Flamingo, Underbelly Bristo Square (Daisy), until 27 Aug (not 15), 8.30pm, £6.50-10
Scroll on to read more of The Skinny's 2018 Edinburgh Fringe comedy reviews