Jay Lafferty’s 2018 solo stand-up comedy show follows suit with her titular theme of obscure Scottish lingo; last year’s being Besom, this year’s being Wheesht!, or “shhh” for those of us who aren’t Scottish.
Lafferty recognises “wheesht” as a turn of phrase she’s been told many times in her life, and she walks the audience through all those instances, ending on a rather impactful message as to why “wheesht” has made such an impression on her life. While the theme of the show is quite literally silence, Lafferty fills the hour with hilarious speech.
She delivers her compere opening, jokes and final moral with endearing high energy and cutting wit. Lafferty demonstrates honest and sometimes blatant self-awareness of her own actions, personality and past. This is all with the purpose of letting the audience peak into her little world of stand-up, being an Aunt and growing up in Greenock.
Lafferty touches upon nostalgia, a cult favorite topic that tends to be somewhat glamorised nowadays. However, she does so in a refreshingly critical tone, shedding any glamor entirely. She triumphs in discussing millennial ideologies and their shortcomings with perceptive criticism. All the while, through a combination of surprising references and the occasional explicit joke, she has the audience in a consistent fit of laughter. It’s obvious she is a well-experienced comic and lives up to her previous five-star reviews in her use of improvised material into the set. To put it simply, Jay Lafferty is effortlessly funny.
The story line and its presentation are inventive. A mixture of music, act-outs and club-style crowd work render Wheesht! as entirely captivating. As is in the spirit of Edinburgh Fringe solo stand-up shows, Jay ends the show with an overriding message. Wheesht! comes full-circle with a stark confession and powerful plea. The message elevates the show from being simply a stand-up show to it being a show to think about, and more importantly, to remember. This is not a mindless hour of easy laughs – Wheesht! is contemplative and side-splitting at the same time.
Whether or not the audience are comedy regulars or fringe-fanatics, Jay Lafferty’s Wheesht! appeals to all audience types. It’s near impossible to not enjoy this Scottish lass’s show, and if so it’s due to no fault of hers. Grab tickets fast because Jay’s show has been selling out on the regular
Don’t haud yer wheesht about this show – spread the word.
Jay Lafferty: Wheesht!
Gilded Balloon Teviot – The Turret
Until 27 August
Image: Gilded Balloon / Watch This Space Productions