There’s probably some truth to the idea that going through a profound personal crisis makes it easier to produce a stand-up show for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Maybe the equation should be updated to Comedy = Tragedy + Time + looming Fringe deadline. But what does a comic do when they don’t have any terrible experiences to draw on?
Lexx’s onstage persona is very much in the Russell Howard/Josie Long, happy-go-lucky vein, with her exuberance and knack for storytelling keeping everything ticking over nicely.
In her debut run at the Fringe, Laura Lexx tells us how the unexpected events in her life always seem to work out for the best. How unfortunate! Stewart Lee has dealt with the dilemma of a comic’s life might not be fruitful grounds for material for their act (with Lee regressing to the point where he laments the privatisation of jungle-canyon rope bridges). Now it’s Lexx’s turn to justify getting on stage when everything in your life is more or less lovely.
Her premise is that, out of all the creatures in the animal kingdom, humans, on balance, have it fairly good. To put this in context, the audience is treated to spirited reenactments of various nature documentaries, along with anecdotes from her family and romantic lives. Citing her love for TV documentaries, Lexx fills us in on her TV programme genre/food group theory that is surprisingly apt and makes more and more sense the more you think about it. Lexx’s onstage persona is very much in the Russell Howard/Josie Long, happy-go-lucky vein, with her exuberance and knack for storytelling (especially evident in the closing stages) keeping everything ticking over nicely.
It’s not a laugh-a-minute set and some of the punchlines are a bit telegraphed. Then again, Lexx doesn’t set the show out to be some observational tour-de-force in that sense; it’s the world from her point of view, with her personality and stage-presence making up for any lack of gags. Also, there’s an unexpected and wonderful bit of bird imitation towards the end that is more than worth the wait.
Speaking strictly from a stand-up material point of view, one can only hope that that there’s some life-altering catastrophe waiting just around the corner for Lexx. However, given how things have worked out for her so far, that doesn’t seem likely. All in all, a pleasant, late-afternoon hour in the presence of some charming stand-up.