The Phoenix: A Failure On a Mission
  • By Tom King
  • |
  • 18th Aug 2011
  • |
  • ★★★

Tania Edwards is a strange sort of stand-up for the Fringe. She seems to have a show planned but it isn’t quite clear when it starts. The audience sits down, she starts chatting to a few of them - engaging, amusing, but seemingly just random, chat. However, smoothly, almost imperceptibly, the plot begins.It’s the same old stand-up story - girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl examines her life to work out what she did wrong. Edwards chatters on in an amiable way, cracking the occasional joke but mostly just talking. She talks about her Italian flatmate, about her love of swimming, about her struggles to keep her anonymity when sponsoring her ex for charity. And so it continues. A few moments stand out – the downfalls of helping a wheelchair-bound man up a hill or the bizarre way that Russian women sooth baby boys to sleep – but overall the show lacks structure. It feels like being chatted to by a mate, reasonably amusing but essentially a stream of consciousness. Edwards riffs well with the audience but one gets the feeling that the quality of the show could end up depending heavily on who’s in that day.Tania Edwards is a likeable performer and seems like she’d make an excellent compere. I can’t fault her rapport but, with just an hour to impress, it feels like she could do with a list of jokes and an order to do them in. The Phoenix may be on a mission but I’m darned if I know what it is.

Reviews by Tom King

Summerhall

A Fortunate Man

★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

The Cat's Mother

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4

Phill Jupitus: Sassy Knack

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Nigel Slater’s Toast

★★★
CanadaHub @ King's Hall in association with Summerhall

Famous Puppet Death Scenes

★★★★
Assembly George Square Gardens

Jess Robinson: No Filter

★★★★

The Blurb

Consider yourself a failure? Think having your own teeth is a measure of success? Trying to reinvent yourself? So does stand-up comedy's Tania Edwards, who in her own words is, 'hilarious, brilliant, whatever.'