Tiffany Stevenson: Uncomfortably Numb

Stevenson’s act is fast becoming a fixture at the Fringe with Uncomfortably Numb marking her fourth consecutive year here; between this and her appearances on ITV’s Show Me The Funny her name may now be a familiar one for many.

There are moments in this routine where it is obvious why her popularity as a stand up has been increasing, for example well delivered lines and amusing anecdotes involving iPad games for cats and weekends in Starbucks. However, for every section of top flight comedy there is a moment of mediocrity to mar it - making this show just a little frustrating to watch.

One major issue is Stevenson’s choice to link stories back to an overarching theme, how difficult it is to be a thirty something woman, with many of these links feeling tenuous and awkward. Unsurprisingly this theme also leads to the discussion of topics including wrinkles, makeup and how much more difficult the ageing process is for women than for men - it can’t be just me who is tired of hearing female comics drag these topics out to fill sets.

Mixed in with traditional stand up are more serious moments where she reasons that we should stop attempting to botox wrinkles out of the older generation lest we lose their faces altogether, extolling the virtues of being old and ridiculous and encouraging us to use books - after all a solitary kindle on a shelf looks so lonely. It’s not that what she says is wrong, it’s just it’s all a bit serious for comedy.

Stevenson is obviously an intelligent lady and actually a rather good motivational speaker in her soapbox moments. There is potential for a good and thoughtful show whilst still sitting comfortably in the ‘comedy’ category. At the moment there are a few too many sections where the tone becomes notably serious to sit well in many people’s idea of an hour of stand up comedy. A little trimming, lose the overarching story that everything is so uncomfortably linked to and Stevenson could have an intelligent and even thought provoking show.

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The Blurb

Ageing is more than skin deep. Tiffany goes beneath the epidermis to uncover class hatred, racism and sexism. Maybe it's time to give a sh*t... 'Stroke of genius' ****(Telegraph). 'A rising star' (Evening Standard).

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