Izzy Mant: Polite Club, Underbelly - Bristo Square, Edinburgh * * *
Not only is she a successful television producer, with a string of hit sitcoms to her name, but as she captures in her once-shared, never-forgotten assessment of the celebrities she most obviously resembles, she seems too well-spoken and genteel for live comedy’s vicious cut and thrust. Especially as she promises an hour relating the therapy she’s had for her excessive politeness, a first world problem if ever there was one. Of course, that’s only part of the tale.
At its core is her relationship with her brilliant, romantic but troubled ex-boyfriend, an enigmatic character whose malign, controlling influence casts a pall, his jealousy exploiting and spiralling Mant’s instinctive diffidence. Of the moment and set up like a feminist mouse that roared narrative, Mant nevertheless light-heartedly locates her story in what she semi-seriously suggests is a broader epidemic of excessive politeness, sharing videos of acquaintances’ most excruciating moments of social awkwardness.
Ultimately though, she’s never been quite the buttoned-up English rose she projects. And in this polished, consistently amusing debut she confirms her emergence from her shell and absolute bona fides as a comic.
Until 26 August