BY KATHRYN PIERCE
In collaboration with @SomewhereEDI
Last night’s offering at The Pleasance came from Suzi Ruffell, fresh from her travels and back at the Fringe with a new show, having bagged a nomination for Chortle’s Best Breakthrough Act.
This time Suzi’s landed in Edinburgh with a backpack of travelling anecdotes, serious sleep deprivation and a lot of fresh new fears. She pitches her comedy tent, pegged with trademark anxiety and lets rip – we get the feeling it’s all been a bit much to carry around.
Worries of the world, strange and oddly personal encounters with stingrays and the frustration of being the lesbian in a straight group of friends all contributed to the you-wouldn’t-believe-it-had-it-not-happened series of Suzi mishaps that made up her set.
In amongst this ball of energy is Suzi’s attempt to connect with the room, and on this particular night I didn’t feel like she quite broke through. It’s a delicate balance to strike between being mates with and relating to a gay audience, and doing the same to a non-gay audience.
I got behind her campaigning for a “Disney Princess who’s a mess, who’s a bit of a Disney Prince like me”, and her pointing out with a wry wit that life as a lesbian certainly isn’t all plain sailing – especially in countries where it’s illegal to be gay.
As a gay woman, I felt a real camaraderie with parts of the show but I didn’t laugh out loud too often, and instead enjoyed it as spending quality time with a familiar friend – but one who really needs a good mate to ask, “What were you thinking with the strobe lighting joke?”.
Squeezed into a small and hot venue which felt considerably smaller than Suzi’s rising profile, the audience was a friendly mixed bunch up for a good laugh, and they certainly enjoyed it, though it felt maybe this time Suzi wasn’t quite sure how to pitch it.