Beth Vyse: Get Up With Hands!

Hands down, Get Up With Hands! is the funniest thing I've seen at the Fringe this year. Staunchly in the vein of funnywoman Karen Taylor's Valerie D'Enton, Vyse's show tells the tale of Olive Hands - a kind of leopard print-clad Corrie-kitsch Cruella de Vil - and her mad scramble to save her ITV9 daytime telly show. It's a campy curveball of surreal comic delight.

The masterstroke of Get Up With Hands! is that even when the show goes wrong it only adds to the hilarity.

From the off, audience interaction is kept central to comic effect. The dirty-glam Hands shrieks at her audience; lies herself across their laps in the throes of prophetic visions and forces them to stand and sing her theme song like a crazed daytime-TV dictator. Indeed, everything is knocked up a notch as audience members are wrested up to the stage to be dressed up, put down, interviewed and ordered to participate in gross gameshows. Be warned, this show is not for the faint-hearted; some of the involvement calls for bigger balls that those Hands shows off as she impersonates a crooning blind chinese boy on live TV.

The masterstroke of Get Up With Hands! is that even when the show goes wrong it only adds to the hilarity. Given that the premise of this show is a loser's frantic last-ditch punt at the big time, Vyse's occasional corpsing and the odd collapsing bit of set simply bring an element of complicity to this plunge into chaos. Vyse very cleverly brings the same failsafe effect to the jokes themselves: Even as a bit about Olive's demented, Robert Lindsay-loving mother feels a bit off the pace of the rest of the show, and the aforementioned imitation of the chinese child feels a little awkward and overlong , these issues only underscore a gut-bustingly funny finale. Olive's horrified realisation of her own insanity becomes side-splitting in light of the audience’s earlier nervousness. Furthermore, an emotional outburst at the endpoint of Hands' madness following these more awkward instances of the show becomes worryingly believable: I genuinely thought that Vyse was having a breakdown at one point, and the tension I felt only furthered my later laughter.

Vyse's show is a wonderful melange of surreal and character comedy styles that basks in the campy fun of daytime telly. I can do nothing but recommend it. Even if Olive Hands has hit hard times with her ratings, this show deserves viewers by the bucketload. 

Reviews by Jack Powell

Assembly Roxy

Lords of Strut: Chaos

Underbelly, Cowgate

John Robertson: The Dark Room

Pleasance Courtyard

Knightmare Live - Level 2

The Assembly Rooms


Pleasance Courtyard

Thünderbards: Seconds


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Beth Vyse’s creation Olive Hands presents her number two in the morning, daytime show. She’s just a working class girl living the dream. That was until ITV9 went bust! Come and witness her trying to remain on your screens. Expect the surreal, sublime and completely ridiculous from critically acclaimed Vyse. 'Her style has a touch of The Mighty Boosh. Stunningly Lewd' **** (ThreeWeeks). 'This show has cult written all over it… a fine calling card for a formidable comedy actress' ( 'Vyse is marvellous, imperious and ambitious' (Times).

Most Popular See More

Frozen the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets