Diane Spencer: Power Tool

Fringe shows based on the last twelve months of a comic’s life are not uncommon. Shows about the experiences of Fringe 2014, however, are a rarer commodity. Diane Spencer’s Power Tools is just that – an enjoyable backward glance towards the events that reached a climax in Edinburgh during August of last year.

Though the piece has one extended storyline, there are a handful of really strong set-pieces that break it up nicely.

The show is really two stories. The first centres on Spencer’s attempts to buy her first home with her partner in London. Nothing groundbreaking there. The second one is altogether more showbiz, describing how Spencer was approached and commissioned to write the script for a one-woman show at to be performed last year’s Fringe by none other than Nancy Dell’Olio. Through the hour, we are treated to tales of how Spencer lurched from crisis to crisis, from her inability to operate D.I.Y. equipment, to her failure to convince Dell’Olio that six costume changes are too many (a side note: D.I.Y. Dell’Olio or something similar would make a far better title for this show).

Spencer weaves the two narratives together expertly, shifting seamlessly from one to the other. The role she plays in each complement the other – in one, she is the unorganised girlfriend, taking months to paint a hallway; in the other, she is the level-headed one, trying to keep things together as all around her descends into chaos.

Though the piece has one extended storyline, there are a handful of really strong set-pieces that break it up nicely. Her impressions of Dell’Olio are priceless and, although I’m not sure what the motivation behind it was, the puppet display was surprisingly gripping. As fans of hers can expect, Spencer does divulge details about herself of a more intimate nature, but these are genuinely funny, not just for the gross-out factor.

This is a really tight set of some of the best storytelling at the Fringe – the time just flies by.

Broadway Baby Radio interview with Diane Spencer

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The Blurb

Award-winning comedian Diane Spencer's sixth hour-long stand-up show is based on her real life experiences of 2014, when she was trying to find/make a dream house, despite being unable to afford it, and being absolutely crap at DIY. She also got a surprise phone call from a media celebrity asking to write a biographical play to produce at the Fringe, and this show covers the good, bad and weird things that happened along the way. Diane's story unfolds with her typical charm, sparkling wit and dark humour. 'Enthralling storytelling ability' ***** (EdFestMag.com).