Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Australian comic Bec Hill is a multi-coloured ray of eternal sunshine. In a world of pain and darkness, her total lack of cynicism is refreshing. It helps that she’s funny and charming with it, of course.
Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14)
This year, she’s decided to move away from the narrative-led nature of her previous shows with a fun little experiment in which the audience gets to decide the running order of her act.
Behind her on a blackboard are several cards with subjects and quotes written on them: Video Tape, Have You Been Working Out?, Egg Bum, that sort of thing. Hill encourages us to choose which one she has to talk about next. Occasionally they’ll deliberately choose one that segues naturally from the previous topic, much to Hill’s delight. This simple deconstruction of her own act emphasises how easily she moves between different modes of comedy. Puns, songs, prop-work, quick-fire gags and extended personal anecdotes nestle together comfortably in her all-inclusive world.
The highlight of any Hill show is always her brightly inventive animated artwork, which she displays on flipcharts customised with hidden levers and tiny glitter cannons. They allow her to indulge her love of whimsical wordplay and endearingly puerile, childish jokes.
At one point she reads out jokes written by actual children, most of which are genuinely funny and bizarre.
She also unveils a gleefully dark and offensive pop-up book she created at the age of 14, tells the alarming story of how her boyfriend proposed to her onstage at the Gilded Balloon, and asks us to question whether space travel magnate Elon Musk might actually be a supervillain.
Admittedly, this show is greater than the sum of its purposefully disjointed parts, but I can’t imagine anyone leaving it without a big old goofy smile on their face.
Until 27 August. Today 5:15pm.