Diane Spencer: Hurricane Diane

Diane Spencer is one of the most exciting comics on the Fringe. She is personable, hilarious and ballsy. The show is a voyage into ‘Hurricane Diane’s chaotic personality, and she delivers a near-flawless performance.

Spencer has a disarmingly honest and friendly approach to her storytelling, discussing country village life and shaving her privates in equally candid measure. Her lengthy (and rather graphic) account of having cystitis was one of the highlights of the show. The way in which she can weave these long, often slightly disgusting stories, into a cohesive, engaging narrative is brilliant. In particular, some of her recurring jokes are highly effective - particularly her numerous examples of her mother’s hilarious double-entendres.

She is unafraid to tackle sex straight on, and does so in a wonderfully dirty manner, causing hearty laughs from shocked audience members throughout. However, these jokes never seem gratuitous, but completely genuine and relevant. Meanwhile, she is also very frank about certain parts of her personality in a way that most would not be. For example, her honesty about her temper, and the hysterical arguments she starts, shows a self-awareness that is surprisingly rare.

It is her anecdotes that make the show so enjoyable. Her occasional foray into broader topics are sometimes slightly misjudged or just not very funny - for example, her comments on feminism. Her dismissive approach to things such as Slutwalk seemed throwaway and slightly jarring, disrupting the flow. However, these were just small lulls in what is otherwise an extremely polished set. Containing the occasional joke from previous years’ shows, Spencer shows that she has been continuously developing her style and is going from strength to strength. Give it some time and this hurricane could take the festival by storm.

Reviews by Carys Evans

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Performances

The Blurb

Smart social observations and deviant stories confessed unflinchingly. Diane Spencer is a bold comedian, creator of quick-witted, hilarious stand-up. Chortle Best Newcomer winner 2011 and The Scotsman's Top 5 Hottest Comedy Shows 2012. ***** (Sunday Express).

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