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Croydon's Lucy Porter celebrates her 10th year performing in Edinburgh and the last decade has seen the petite comic take on marriage, two kids and some exciting run-ins with Radio 4 programming. In 'Me Time' she is not being self-indulgently reflective, instead she questions whether she was born in the wrong era: surely she's more dapper Victorian gent or 1920s' flapper slapper?
Yearning for more debauchery in her life, her relationship with her tall husband (performing as Rasputin at another city venue) is explored as well as her fondness for the more interesting forums on Mumsnet, while a clever reminisce to a Russian school disco in 1991 proves all she really wants is to be liked and accepted.
Porter refrains from doling out advice on the Scottish referendum, after all her "leftie" predictions turned out to be way off in the early '90s (and she has a self-confessed inflation of her own opinion's importance). Her description of one half of the Coalition government as "homeopathic at best" is one of her finer one liners, although her warm storytelling (even when pointed in a faux bitter fashion at her Daily Mail reading school chum) is this comedic pocket rocket's finest asset.
Runs ends Sunday
Wendy Wason: Hotel California
Hotel California is a place you never want to visit suggests Edinburgh's own Wendy Wason, in reference to privatised hospitals in America. A recent family trip to Los Angeles ended up in a possible invoice for nearly $50,000 when her husband was hospitalised after he collapsed on the sidewalk. The fact the hospital took an imprint of his credit card when he was out cold just about sums up her feelings about the "caring" nature of U.S. healthcare (and don't get her started on the price of her son's prescription foot cream).
With a sprinkling of pop-cult references, from '80s classics to more topical items (both Breaking Bad and Mila Kunis are worthy of repetition) her journey of disbelief is a fast-paced and friendly jaunt. Wason is a woman on a mission, however, and the final segment of her show is a warning against complacency, a warning about stealth NHS destruction, and a serious call to arms in lobbying MPs and taking notice of what's happening in the UK. The fact her holiday insurance company only had to pay a fraction of the costs she was quoted speaks volumes about the complicity of the healthcare and insurance industries.
Until August 24
Juliette Burton: Look at Me
Standing in her hot-pink dress, meticulously made up, Juliette Burton seems to be the picture of confidence. Why else would she choose a career as a stand-up comedian, asking the audience for daily validation? However her "docu comedy" show Look at Me sets out to subvert the superficial expectations we place on people and invites the audience to question their own snap judgments.
Burton reveals she has struggled with her weight, going from a seriously ill UK size four when she was 17 years old to a binge-induced size 20 in a year and a half. For the "documentary" angle, she donned various guises and with a hidden camera reveals the public reactions she received in mainly Covent Garden centric locations. She also probes the magazine myths and beauty industry propaganda, most effectively backed up by her experiences in some high fashion retailers.
Clearly a smart girl with a quick brain, Burton sometimes looks a little uncomfortable under the scrutiny of the spotlight (in fact, she admits this is the case near the end of her show). Although brutally honest, the format is perhaps more suited to a Ted talk than the Fringe; laughs were not of the belly variety.
Until August 25