+3 Review: Tiff Stevenson: Seven (Assembly Roxy, Aug 8-14, 16-28 : 19.10: 1hr)

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“Stevenson has a presence you could smash a wine bottle on”

Editorial Rating:  4 Stars Nae Bad

When you see a comedian on TV, it’s almost a coin flip as to whether they’ll stand up to their digital performance when you’re maybe ten feet away. For some, it’s clear that they’re funnier as a bundle of pixels – but, as in the case of Tiff Stevenson, proximity makes joke grow funnier.

Even when loping around the stage, Stevenson has a presence you could smash a wine bottle on. Despite being wrapped up in a thick web of humour, it’s clear from the outset that there’s an iron core to every joke: it’s as if scientists managed to fuse Belva Lockwood and someone’s drunk aunt. Pushing their own distinct beliefs is something, consciously or otherwise, all comics do; and Stevenson is a masterclass in delivering it without sounding evangelical. Even if you don’t agree with what she’s saying (however you’ve managed to come to that outcome), you’ll be hard pressed not to laugh along with her.

From the get-go, it’s an unmistakably zeitgeist-y set. In a surprisingly speedy hour, Stevenson runs the full gamut from bus bombings to baby showers, joyously flicking up v’s behind her as she runs from topic to topic. We might be awash in a sea of Macintyres, but Stevenson is one of many happy islands where comedy’s rebellious, fringe roots are still dug deep. No subject is too taboo, as she very happily reminds the audience throughout – however, often the transitional link between these subjects can wave from tenuous to unneeded, but as it takes up perhaps a minute of time in total, it hardly spoils the bunch.

If there ever was a complaint, it was that sometimes Stevenson doesn’t seem to trust her own considerable wit enough. Several times throughout the show, a fantastic joke was extended far beyond its peak, simply for the sake of explaining it. Whilst none of these jokes fell into “unfunny”, it certainly blunted the otherwise fantastically sharp tongue which dominate the rest of the show.

To talk too much about Tiff Stevenson’s set at the Roxy is to do her a disservice: half of the enjoyment comes from the unexpected directions she swerves with every punchline. But if you’re looking to start your evening on a high note, you’ll have no tiff with her.

 

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Reviewer: Jacob Close (Seen 6 August)

Visit the Assembly Roxy  archive.

THIS REVIEW HAS NOT BEEN SUBEDITED

Four to Paw: The Stand: September ’13

This September Edinburgh49‘s Four to Paw shows at The Stand are:

Red Raw (19:30, 2nd, 9th, 16th 23rd & 30th September, The Stand)

“Our long-running weekly beginner’s showcase is regarded as the best open mic night in the UK. Catch up to ten new acts – some treading the boards for the very first time. This is where everyone starts and it’s your chance to see the stars of tomorrow today. Watch out for older hands dropping in to try out new material too.”

With Matt Rudge and host Scott Gibson.

Whose Lunch is it Anyway (13:30, 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th September, The Stand)

“Our long-running improvised comedy show will have you in stitches. Marvel as resident duo Stu & Garry weave comedy magic from your suggestions. It’s the perfect way to nurse a hangover and a sure-fire way to kick-start your weekend after the big night out. There’s a special menu too so you’ll be in danger of laughing with your mouth full.”

The Sunday Night Laugh-In (19:30, 22nd September, The Stand)

“Round off the weekend with our comedy cocktail which has the emphasis on the chilled and the laid back. At least five acts on each bill ensure variety and its great value at just a fiver. With Chris Conroy, Gareth Mutch and host Ben Verth.”

Best of Scottish Comedy (20:30, 25th September, The Stand)

“Talk about doing what it says on the tin! Here you go a carload of simply the best comics on the contemporary Scottish circuit. At least four acts on every bill with seasoned headliners joining forces with newer kids on the comedy block each month.”