Fringe Comedy

Maisie Adam

Gilded Balloon

Four stars

Pierre Novellie


Three stars

Big things were expected of last year's So You Think You're Funny winner, Maisie Adam in her debut hour, and big things were delivered. The 'nudging 6ft ' Yorkshirewoman may long to be standard size but she wears her gawkiness well, unlike her mid-show hastily- recreated teenage side fringe. Adam often prefers to demonstrate than explain and that physicality is the ace in her pack. The loudest laughs are reserved for her extravagant eye-rolling and shoulder shrugging. No mean feat when you consider that these aren't being used for heavy sarcasm but rather to demonstrate symptoms of her epilepsy - a condition she's lived with since childhood. The humour is nostalgic and anecdotal. The mainly millennial crowd identify with her numerous points of reference like dance mats and Girls Aloud eyelashes. An accomplished mimic, her Madame Dawson - the Liam Gallagher-channelling French teacher is 'tres bon'. The venue may be tiny but the talent is not. Go see Maisie Adam now and have bragging rights for years to come.

Until August 27.

As a satirist, Pierre Novellie must surely have found it funny that the biggest reaction of the night was reserved for his Isle of Man name-check. The South Africa born comedian grew up there and it seems half the population have flown in for this gig. Charles Manson, Incels, chickens - the Mash Report correspondent's subject matter is as diverse and eclectic as his heritage. America is identified as the world's first self-satirising country but perhaps too much of an easy target, it get off surprisingly lightly on the night. Vegans and communists fare less well and his impersonation of a door-stepping DUP pamphleteer is the butt of the best joke. Wily and whip-smart, Novellie declares perhaps tongue-in-cheek, that elements of this show should come with footnotes. Disappointingly, he proceeds to explain some of his more obscure punch-lines. More confidence in both his razor-sharp material and the intellect of his audience would help this set lose its lecture-hall feel. Until August 26.