Susan Murray's Photo Booth

Susan Murray's Photo Booth has a promising concept: comedy spun around her collection of passport photos – her own, her friends', her family's and those of complete strangers that she has stolen from booths up and down the country. The concept, and the scope it gives Murray to structure her material around plenty of autobiographical anecdotes, make this show quite watchable and likable beyond its limited quality. It's a great shame then that it isn't very funny.Murray is simply not a good comic. There is little development from her source material and the jokes usually take one of two turns: either the worst throws of the observational comic - 'Look at this thing! Isn't that random?!' – or the plain insulting – 'Look at that guy, isn't he random… like he's got a body in his freezer or something?!' On top of this, there are problems with her command of the technical basics of stand-up such as her punchlines, which always stumble out too fast, like drunks being thrown head-first from a nightclub. She has the perseverance and charm to keep your attention, and the show's personal slant can be quite winning, but it rarely generates laughs – I think I only giggled four times in the whole show.I don't mean it as an insult when I say that Murray may be better suited to a different kind of crowd – if she were doing this show late in the evening on the Free Fringe, aimed at stag and hen parties, I think it would be quite a winning formula. A crowd who are willing to engage in Murray's banter - like guessing which of the people in the photos on the screen became her stalker; and what she thinks the creepy back-story of perfectly innocuous-looking strangers is - would be the perfect audience to pick up on what merits the show has.At six o'clock in front of a paying audience at The Stand, however, we need the premise to give us something better – the catalogue of human life in the photos needs to come alive in far more inventive and interesting ways. Instead, the show's humour is as two-dimensional and as superficial as something printed below a photo booth window.

Reviews by Tom Moyser

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Summerhall

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★★★★★

The Blurb

Every passport picture tells a story. Susan's definitely do - accidental riot, setting her hometown on fire, Hitler scab. This rogue’s gallery is a hilarious snapshot of life, lovers, family, killers. 'Uniquely witty' ****' (Fest).