Fringe Comedy

Jo Brand

Gilded Balloon

Gayle Anderson

three stars

Jo Brand is back. After an unbelievable decade away, she returns to the Fringe as part of the Gilded Balloon's 30th birthday celebrations. The warm welcome from the capacity crowd signifies that Edinburgh is more than happy to have her back. This show is prior to a full tour in the autumn and Jo decides she needs a new catchphrase. "How about, 'Innocent Until Proven... Male?' " meets with the audience's approval and they brace themselves for a barrage of man-baiting one-liners. She doesn't disappoint. She ramps up her look of amused tolerance and delivers the classic, "My husband never learned to my opinion." The best material centres around Brand herself, whether it's managing her mild incontinence, sharing horror stories from her career with the NHS or discussing her dislike of exercise. She does own up to using a pedometer - but only so she limit herself to 100 steps a day. She admits that this show is a work in-progress and there's no denying that it's incomplete. It needs less padding and more pith. Fewer regurgitated chat show anecdotes and more jokes. She remains as deliciously dry as a water biscuit but, like a Mary Berry sound bite on Brand's GBBO spin-off, 'An Extra Slice' - "you just can't hear that snap".

Run ended