Clara Bijl @ Greenside, Infirmary Street

An open-ended introduction to Clara Bijl

Review by James McColl | 20 Aug 2018
  • Clara Saves America

French comedian Clara Biji's Clara Saves America is her first Fringe show. Finding her feet in Edinburgh, her material is sometimes unsuited to an international audience, but Bijl is experienced circumnavigating cultural differences. It's something she knows about living in America with a French heritage.

She talks about the problems facing a single comedian, or married comedian with kids – she is keen to leave this open-ended. Intriguingly, Bijl spends time muddying the waters between fact and fiction, creating a sense of detachment from what could be her personal and family life, with who she is on stage. She often flickers between her reality and fictions, keeping the audience guessing and in a state of mistrust. 

She spends time regaining this trust only to shatter the illusion again and again. This helps position her as a performer who is somewhat of an anomaly. Controlling the room is a skill, but we know little about Bijl. So while she is able to play with this dynamic it comes at a price. Without that trust, the natural connection between performer and audience gets lost. This means some of her routines and jokes don’t work as well as they should and the tension in the room doesn’t seem altogether needed.

Clara Bijl: Clara Saves America, Greenside, Infirmary Street (Ivy Studio), run ended, 11pm, £5-8

Scroll on to read more of The Skinny's 2018 Edinburgh Fringe comedy reviews; click here for a round-up of all the best reviews from this year's comedy and theatre programmes