Fern Brady @ Monkey Barrel

An accomplished hour of stand-up from Fern Brady, a performer who has earned her stripes

Review by Eve Livingston | 04 Aug 2019
  • Ahir Shah

Fern Brady has hit her stride in the last few years and it shows in her latest Fringe offering. A straightforward hour of stand-up covering everything from her Bathgate roots to her feelings about babies as she reaches her 30s, Brady’s easy delivery and comfort on stage ensure an hour of solid laughs for Edinburgh audiences.

It would be easy for Scottish comedians to play on stereotypes and clichés at this festival, but Brady instead deals with them intelligently. Throughout her material she manages to be both characteristically forthright and coarse while also weaving in exploration of themes such as feminism, sexuality, mental illness and class. One minute the audience is laughing at material about the Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster and the next at an anecdote about Brady’s classroom pet, yet the flow is never lost and the laughs never falter.

Having established a bigger name for herself in recent years, Brady is able to reflect on her experiences in comedy – and in criticism – through her material, and it is stronger for it. She takes aim at critics who describe her as “feisty” and at the men who send her creepy messages following TV appearances. It’s a confidence she has earned but it never verges on arrogant, with her down-to-earth persona key to her success.

Brady is obviously a star on the rise and, judging by Power and Chaos, it's an ascendancy she thoroughly deserves.

Fern Brady: Power and Chaos, Monkey Barrel (Monkey Barrel 1), until 25 (not 12), 6pm, £7/PWYW.

Extra Shows: Monkey Barrel, 5 Aug, 8.15pm