Laura Davis @ Monkey Barrel

Laura Davis pulls no punches in an Edinburgh Fringe hour that's impressive, impactful, and loaded with laughs

Review by Anita Bhadani | 25 Aug 2022
  • Laura Davis

We are living through scary and uncertain times. This is something Laura Davis is acutely aware of, and If This Is It sees Davis explore this with wit and charm, interspersed with personal anecdote and contemplation on being a comedian at this present moment.

Covering a vast array of content from social media discourse to climate change, feminism to real-life events (including a brief stay in the woods), Davis pulls no punches. The show is fast-paced and high energy: whether leading a hilariously raucous explicit chant from the audience, or utilising a memorable physical gag – that's simultaneously silly and purposeful – the laughs are loud and don’t let up.

The first half of the set draws more on Davis’ personal life, while the second begins to interweave in wider societal narratives. Regardless of subject, Davis’ arresting stage presence captivates, with their skilful delivery and even offhand lines eliciting big laughs from the audience. Davis never alludes to having all the answers: they’re just as confused as any of us can be, professing to finding occasional refuge in getting high and watching Blue Planet. But they do not allow this fear to be reduced to a resigned nihilism. While the set on occasion veers into jokes which more darkly allude to the injustices in the world, this is punctuated by an impassioned, fervent desire for something better amidst it all.

In this compelling hour, Laura Davis unsettles easy assumptions by taking on some of the most pressing and intimidating issues we collectively face with candour, all the while consistently delivering humour that doesn’t let up. It’s an impressive feat for an impressive show, assured to leave an impact felt long after its finale.

Laura Davis: If This Is It, Monkey Barrel (Carnivore 1), until 28 Aug, 4pm, £6.50-£7.50