I saw Fern Brady in her 2016 Edinburgh show, “Fern Brady: Male Comedian”, in the same room at the Stand Comedy Club 2 last year. Fact of the matter was that she was very good. She seemed a little nervous, lost her thread a few times, skipped parts of her set and had to refer to the bullet points that she had written on her hand, but she was a comedian of some talent.
She was far more assured this year. She did have to consult her “hand-written” notes a few times near the end of the show (and she does need to learn to do this a little less obviously) but she was just as cynical, belligerent and brilliant as last year.
The only confusing thing is why she’s returned to the Stand 2 this year? It’s a perfectly good venue, but it only holds around 40 seats and they could have easily sold more. At least five people who turned up without tickets were turned away; although they managed to squeeze in an extra seat for “Whose Line is Anyway” star Clive Anderson who materialised just as the show was about to start. There was at least one more comedian in the house we saw Phil Wang who has his own show this year at the Pleasance Courtyard in the front row. She’s obviously well-regarded by her peers. Why is she still limiting herself to the claustrophobic confines of The Stand 2?
Maybe it’s confidence? Is she limiting herself due to the same occasional nerves that force her to still occasional lose track and have to refer to her notes? Despite only being 31 she has experienced what could euphemistically be described as a full life. She’s been homeless, sectioned, worked as a stripper, survived a murder attempt, has a degree in Arabic and Islamic history and once made a living cooking breakfast for sex offenders. She’s lived a bit.
Hopefully she’ll work a larger venue next year. If not you might still be able to squeeze into the Stand 2 this year, should you be able to get your hands on a ticket, to watch this ticking timebomb on stage.
Fern Brady will be appearing at The Stand Comedy Club 2, Edinburgh (Venue 5) at 12.05pm until Sunday 27th August.