“How do I follow that?” enquired Holly Walsh of the preceding audience-participation act, which involved a spoof Latino star and over-elaborate fake penises. Perhaps the wisest response would be not to try and engage with the front-row drunk who had already plagued each act on this Thursday Show bill.
Holly Walsh - The Stand, Edinburgh
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It may have been such distracting presences that kept this accomplished stand-up from getting fully into her stride, but rather than wielding the kind of genial material that has garnered Walsh plenty acclaim (and an Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer nomination), she opted for the role of ad hoc compere.
Her chit-chatting with the more sober among the gathering did lead Walsh off into areas she clearly wanted to talk about (her reluctance to be a parent and recent entry into the world of wedlock) but the prolonged bantering removed any momentum she had engendered for herself with some quality gags.
Living in a dodgy part of London which is trying to better itself offers up a delightful piece of imagery, while her doubts about the practicalities of giving blood will always receive a sympathetic ear.
She did exploit the various discussions about the dark side of families to reflect on her own sibling relationships and the upsides to not having children and her gentle put-downs of the finally departing heckler had everyone on her side. But it only encouraged Walsh to uncover more about her new pals, than give us further examples of expertly crafted gag writing.