Fringe Comedy

Lauren Pattison


Five stars

Kae Kurd


Four stars

Twayna Mayne


Three stars

Gayle Anderson

THERE IS no fuss, no fanfare. No opening music or cheesy self-intro. Lauren Pattison doesn't swagger onstage from behind the heavy curtains in time-honoured, stand-up style. Instead, she slips into the room behind a few stragglers. Lady Muck is the Newcastle comic's debut hour at the Fringe and after a giggle and a wave she tells us she feels honoured to be here. So far, so straightforward, I think. I'm so wonderfully wrong. What you see is a teeny tiny, green-but-keen 23-year-old. What you get is a highly-polished, professional and nuanced performance. After a four-year relationship, Pattison was suddenly and inexplicably "ghosted'"by her boyfriend . It's an often poignant tale told at breakneck speed and interwoven with bold and bawdy accounts of blind-dates, bodily-functions and working in Boots. There are impressive rants as she eloquently flicks the virtual finger straight in the face of misogyny. Confident but not cocky, she's a breath of feisty fresh air. Catch her while you still can.

Runs until August 28.

"ONCE you've had Persian, you don't want another version," Kae Kurd proclaims. He could be right. It's a big, bold start from the South Londoner. He lobs in a couple of seriously funny Isis one-liners before asking how it feels to be with a Muslim in a black-curtained bunker?. The sell-out crowd in the appropriately- named Bunker 2 are hooked. We're a captive audience. Claiming to be Britain's only Kurdish comedian is a great selling point but quite a responsibility. There's no need to worry though, he proves to be a sharp and intelligent champion of his people and refugees in general. Kurd arrived here aged six months, the son of resistance fighters who'd fled Saddam Hussein. He brilliantly dismisses modern-day activism with its on-line petitions and hash-tag campaigns. It's not all politics and polemics though. He throws in some fine impressions. His gentrified Brixton gangsta in Starbucks is a stand-out as is his take on Kevin Bridges, Michael McIntyre and John Bishop playing the black comedy circuit. Until you've heard Kevin Bridges utter "rice an' peas" you really haven't lived

Runs until August 27.

BLACK Woman is a bold title with a brilliant back story. Twayna Mayne's debut hour here at the Fringe is at its thought-provoking best when she's talking about her own childhood. A neglectful birth mother, the clunking intrusion of child services and the finally, the happy ending of transracial adoption. "It was like a Disney movie for black people," she explains. Her descriptions of growing up with both a conservatory and an unquenchable love for The Archers demonstrate great comedic writing chops. She felt more straight outta Lakeland than straight outta Compton and spent her teenage years searching for a sense of identity. It's full of punchlines and pathos. "There's nothing like a bit of white privilege," she deadpans. The set though, is the sum of too many parts. It's a speed march through too many subjects, many of which deserve to be expanded and developed for future shows

Runs until August 27.