Comedy review: Urzila Carlson – First Edition

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Despite being a Fringe debutante, Urzila Carlson projects the authority of a seasoned stand-up who’s played all over the world, imparting her down-to-earth wisdom with an invigorating, take-me-as-I-am insouciance.

Assembly George Square Studios (Venue 17)

***

Despite being a Fringe debutante, Urzila Carlson projects the authority of a seasoned stand-up who’s played all over the world, imparting her down-to-earth wisdom with an invigorating, take-me-as-I-am insouciance.

Unreconstructed and with zero patience for the excesses of political correctness, the New Zealand-based South African dismisses vegans and other dieters as arseholes alike, maintaining that racism, homophobia and bullying are the true battles that need to be fought. Notwithstanding any qualms you might have about those she deems worthy of digging out, Carlson is an ebullient, mischievously provocative character, as self-laceratingly funny about her fatness as she is emotive about the teachers who humiliated her with it.

Amusing about the culture clash she found when she toured Asia, she also gives a compelling account of her upsetting return home, involving being bitten by another human and a customs incident.

You also learn a reason behind her reluctance to indulge over-sensitive liberal sensibilities when there is genuine misery out there. Lesser comics might make her disclosure the focus of their hour. But Carlson draws from it sparingly, finishing with an upbeat epilogue and altruistic advice, belying her brash initial bulldozing.

Until 27 August. Today 7:45pm.