‘I still have such enthusiasm for life’ proclaims Toksvig as she bounds onto the Pleasance stage. A little pleased with herself? Perhaps, but loveable all the same.
The half Danish, half British Toksvig has been travelling her whole life, be it as a child following her television correspondent father or as an adult making documentaries for the BBC. Stories of her travels provide much of the material for her hour long show - all told with that particular brand of wit that has been drifting into our living rooms through shows such as ‘Call My Bluff’ and ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ for years.
A natural orator, Toksvig’s clean and gentle humour has the audience hooting with laughter from the opening line, proving stand-up doesn’t have to be boundary testing, cutting edge stuff to make you cry with laughter. Some of her topics, such as not understanding Twitter or self-deprecating comments about her age and shape, are a little tired but she still manages to find some new punch lines and laughs in them.
With the majority of the show being so fantastic the closing ten minutes were a little disappointing. She ceases attempting to be entertaining and instead begins setting the scene to advertise her latest book by explaining the Boer War and the extraordinary stories of women determined to help the war effort. They are delivered in an interesting enough way but the feeling you’re being sold something is inescapable and a little jarring when you have paid to be entertained for an hour.
Topping off the show on a lighter note, she encourages the audience to join her in conducting along to Ode To Joy, which, intentionally or otherwise, also results in a standing ovation. A little cheeky? Yes; do we mind? No. This only stands testament to her personable nature and the love the audience has for her – ultimately, like Toksvig herself, this show is highly entertaining, clever and charming.