May not be the world’s strongest stand-up comedian, but her frank account of a childhood worlds away from the liberal atmosphere of the Fringe is definitely worth the hour-long investment.
Perhaps the awkward landing of many of these jokes (often edging too far into the dark to be truly comic) is deliberately intended to disquiet a primarily white, middle-class audience. Following her first mention of the uprising and British imperialism, McGrath goes on to ask for the British percentile of her audience, answering the one hundred percent hands in the air with a well-timed ‘Oh shit’ to temporarily defuse the elephant in the room. However, overall, the majority of the awkward titters often felt as if they were the result of fine-tuning the comic pitch during the early stages of the Fringe.
Nevertheless, McGrath is a consistently engaging speaker, and when she does segue into her actual story, it makes for a compelling home run. The small espionage space is crammed with seats, with audience members balancing elbows on the bar, and McGrath’s warm persona utilises this make-shift intimacy, drawing attention to the absence of a proper tannoy system as she announces her run up to the stage from the back of the room.
As part of the Free Fringe, McGrath may not be the world’s strongest stand-up comedian, but her frank account of a childhood worlds away from the liberal atmosphere of the Fringe is definitely worth the hour-long investment.