Comedy Review: Charmian Hughes: Whatnot, Laughing Horse @The Counting House, Edinburgh

Charmian Hughes was, she reveals, brought up as a strict Catholic, of Anglican parents, in a family of various half-siblings who made her life a misery.

Charmian Hughes is a masterful storyteller.

Charmian Hughes: Whatnot, Laughing Horse @The Counting House, Edinburgh * * *

She had a challenging childhood which only improved when she became the Girl With The Dead Gran. Her relationship with her mother is the stuff of Hollywood horror stories and, although long gone, haunts her comedy. But that is not a bad thing as she makes for some ferocious anecdotes.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And anecdote is her superpower. You could listen, and giggle, wonder and sympathise for hours and never get bored by the smiley lady in the Kiwi print dress. Actual ‘gags’ are not really her thing, rather eccentric observations and odd little afterthoughts sprinkle her stories and keep you laughing.

The real joy and fun of a Charmian Hughes hour is the woman herself. More than any other performer I can think of, it is she who lights up the show, she whom you remember long after the details of the material fade. It is, as the saying goes, the singer, not the song. And she is a wonderful singer.

Until 25 August