Louisa Fitzhardinge: Comma Sutra
  • By Ben Dali
  • |
  • 6th Aug 2019
  • |
  • ★★★★

Louisa Fitzhardinge’s magnum opus, Comma Sutra, promises to twang on the heartstrings of all us self-appointed vigilante protectors of the fundamental principles of the English Language. Please note, recipients of pedantry, we prefer this term to ‘Grammar Nazi’. She walks on stage looking the part – complete with comma brooch and punctuation-filled tights – and has an instant likeability that will appeal to anyone who chooses this show with even the slightest inkling of its premise.

Seekers of intellectual stimulation and sapiophiles across the Fringe should unite and join her queue.

Over the course of the next hour, Fitzhardinge delights her audience with a series of songs, sketches and lessons on the intricacies of the language she authentically worships. She performs a range of sexy and educational songs, some to original tunes, some to recognisable pieces from popular culture, from Cole Porter to Avenue Q and the highest selling single of the 2012 UK charts (yes, even her review comes with trivia!). Louisa connects well with her audience and provides enjoyable interactions with her pianist John, who is employed effectively to drive some sketches as well as the keys. The finale to the show provides endless fun, and perfectly demonstrates her breadth of skills as a performer, and unquestionable intellectual capacity, and it is worth going for this extravaganza alone.

If you’re expecting a comedy show that will have you rolling in the aisles, then I’d advise lowering your expectations. While Fitzhardinge is an immensely likeable and amusing performer, there are few laugh-out-loud moments here, and Comma Sutra might fit more neatly under the bracket of cabaret than comedy.

Fitzhardinge has an infectious personality with a lovely singing voice and a well written show. It’s hard to take exception to her, despite handling material that another performer might wield with arrogance. It’s certainly not going to be for everybody, but if it’s not for you then you’ll know that from the show description. If you think it might be up your street, then it almost certainly will be. In its star, younger audience members can find inspiration in a new role model and older generations will leave wishing she were their granddaughter. Seekers of intellectual stimulation and sapiophiles across the Fringe should unite and join her queue. I’ll be there at the front.

Reviews by Ben Dali

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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
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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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Louisa's found true love in the English language, but it's hard being a grammar nerd when people keep selling 'fresh strawberry's' and misusing the word literally. All she really wants is someone to snuggle up on the couch and seductively whisper puns into her ear. Ideally in multiple languages. Is that too much to ask? Louisa Fitzhardinge is a musical comedian, improviser and grammar nerd, appearing regularly with Australia's best musical improvisers. Comma Sutra has enjoyed critical acclaim and sold-out seasons at cabaret and comedy festivals across Australia. This is its Edinburgh debut.

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