Chloe Petts: If You Can't Say Anything Nice

Chloe Petts’ latest hour If You Can’t Say Anything Nice is teeming with insults and slander as she scrutinises rudeness, rage, and her own relationship with anger. From start to finish, Petts’ chilled out demeanour and effortless piss-taking woos the audience, who remain thoroughly on side throughout. The result is an hour of comedy that leaves you with an aching face and a new appreciation for bad tempers.

Her bravado is inherently funny, as is her football obsession and unhinged behaviour at weddings.

Petts graces the Edinburgh Fringe stage having just completed a UK tour of her first solo show Transience, which laid forward her personal experiences of the tension between gender non-conformism and societal expectations that sought to aid deeper understanding and acceptance amongst UK audiences. Satisfied with the gentle and loving approach, in her new show, Petts seeks to switch tactics, boldly confronting her own tendencies towards machismo and lad culture. What is striking is how Petts combines frankness and subtle critique whilst simultaneously avoiding heated rants about the injustices of the world which, though completely justified, can often dampen the mood of a stand-up show. Instead, the show is gleefully mocking both of the British public and of Petts herself.

The moment Petts opens the show, we feel like an old mate of hers, confiding in us whilst simultaneously slagging us off. Thrust into Stockholm syndrome territory, we beg for more, and she continuously delivers. It feels like a treat whenever she turns her attention to us, brimming with quintessential charm as she spontaneously riffs. Her bravado is inherently funny, as is her football obsession and unhinged behaviour at weddings. Petts creates a strong sense of flow in her show, and her vocal dynamism and smooth transitions make her come across as a seasoned professional.

If You Can’t Say Anything Nice is an effortless, charming watch that will keep the laughs coming. It would be difficult to argue that Chloe Petts’ show is anything other than a ‘must watch’ at the Fringe this year.

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Reviews by Isabella Thompson

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The Blurb

Fresh from her smash-hit Edinburgh Fringe and Soho Theatre sell-out debut, Chloe Petts returns with her follow-up hour. Everyone complimented her on how polite she was with big issues in the last show so now she's cashing in those points and plans on being really rude. Expect routines on Greta Thunberg, the Queen and calling you all a bunch of virgins. 'A first show that was worth waiting for' (Guardian).

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