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Harriet Kemsley: Puppy Fat

ByHelen Elston

Aug 24, 2015

Stand up, Pleasance That, Pleasance Courtyard, Venue 33, 17:45 until the 31st August.

Harriet Kemsley is a must-see comedian this year at the Fringe. Her show, Puppy Fat, is full of energy, wit and delightful nervousness. Indeed, there’s a certain child-like quality to her performance – a quality that makes her laughter contagious and immediately familiar. What she delivered was an hour of beautifully crafted comedy that enticed her audience with her shrill-like voice.

Her debut hour at Pleasance was full of well-written anecdotal comedy involving her largest fears in life. Her insecurities are endearing and charming. She voices her deepest concerns: tsunamis, taking acid the day before her sister’s twenty-first and baby showers – all of which were accompanied by some bizarre and baffling stories. Indeed, Kemsley exudes a delightful weirdness. She tells of her desperate wish to ‘fit in’ and be ‘normal’, yet it is her oddness that is so captivating and makes her stories so enticing. From her love life to speeding fines, Kemsley covered familiar situations but added a charming freshness.

Only the show time let Kemsley down. At a performance time of 17:45, it made it difficult for her quirkiness to attract a deserved amount of appreciation. Perhaps a later time and thus a younger crowd would have made her performance more fun. Some jokes fell flat which was a shame, as they deserved a better reception. However, Kemsley could not be blamed for her audience’s attitude and her jokes deserved more.

Kemsley fully deserves her five stars. Her quirkiness created a familiarity that is certainly not one to miss this year at the Fringe.

By Helen Elston

Helen Elston is The Student’s Literature Editor and was a Comedy Editor for the Fringe Festival Edition 2015

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