Vikki Stone @ Pleasance Courtyard
Vikki Stone's Song Bird takes flight, but only when accompanied by music
In a self-deprecating introductory voiceover, it is announced that “unfortunately, in today’s performance, the role of Vikki Stone will be played by Vikki Stone”. This is great news if you like pleasant, occasionally-barbed comedic ditties, but fans of original, tightly-constructed stand-up comedy might be best advised to fly past Song Bird.
Fittingly for Stone’s silly, garish persona, the title is not a reference to velvet-voiced Eva Cassidy, but to an anthem of avian energy: The Birdie Song. This classic of kids’ parties and Tenerife holidays in the mid-90s features a wingful of times in the hour; most effectively in some fun audience participation moments. Elsewhere, Stone growls Ursula-like through an acidic song about stalking her boyfriend’s ex on social media, and later changes the tempo nicely with a foot tambourine on a niche number about her mum’s neglected drinks cabinet.
But there is some dissonance on occasion between Stone’s content and her audience’s realm of understanding. A potentially hilarious song about waiting for two blue ticks – it’s a WhatsApp reference, Grandad – seems to be abandoned as she realises that the wizened eyes of her crowd are glazing (or is that a cataract?).
While Stone’s songs can be a little samey in style and tone, being behind a piano is certainly her forte, so it is very unfortunate that the middle section of the show has her doing some fairly empty stand-up. Anecdotes about veganism and the embarrassing exploits of her cocker spaniel are more suited to enlivening a dinner party than a Fringe show, and Stone almost completely undermines her impressive musical work with seemingly endless dead-end half-stories with no punchlines.
Thankfully, the interminable canine capers have relevance to a crowd-pleasing last act, which gives Stone an opportunity to showcase her clowning skills and finally lets Song Bird take flight.
Vikki Stone: Song Bird, Pleasance Courtyard (Beneath), until 25 Aug, 7pm, £8.50-£12.50