Clay Nikiforuk @ Just The Tonic, The Grassmarket Centre

Fun to be Around is a well crafted, intelligent take on mental illness awareness

Review by James McColl | 17 Aug 2018
  • Clay Nikiforuk

Having suffered a traumatic event as a child, Clay Nikiforuk talks of how it was left unresolved and eventually manifested itself in the form of psychosis. Remarkably, she discovered something was wrong while in an CT Machine, for a scientific study.

Today she speaks about her experiences and the need to challenge mental illness stigma. Presented in the manner of a TED Talk more so than a straight hour of comedy (Nikiforuk explains that the similarities are just, having actually given a TEDx Talk), this is a very intimate show from a performer whose honest approach to a very personal tale is a breath of fresh air.

Enjoyable, engaging and told in the pressure-free environment created by Nikiforuk, the audience is set at ease and eager to hear what she has to say. She is a performer whose natural ability to tell a story as well as educate make the hour a pleasure to listen to. These are also her greatest strengths on stage, feeding the audience important information in a way that is always engaging, lighthearted (despite the heavy subject matter) and never ever dull.

There will be many shows that talk about mental illness, but few will be devised as confidently and as well thought out as Nikiforuk’s.

Clay Nikiforuk: Fun to be Around, Just the Tonic @ The Grassmarket Centre, until 26 Aug, 5.50pm, £7/PWYW

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