Comedy review: Cariad Lloyd - The Freewheelin’ Cariad Lloyd, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), Edinburgh

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BUILDING on last year’s best newcomer award nomination, Cariad Lloyd’s show gets better and better as it progresses.

Cariad Lloyd – The Freewheelin’ Cariad Lloyd

Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)

Star rating: * * *

A frustrated actor, dumped in the Comedy section of the Fringe, Lloyd satirises her own po-faced dedication to her craft and “difficult second year”, with the festival authorities monitoring her performance for gratuitous poignancy. It’s the show’s least satisfying element but, fortunately, it’s just a framing device. With a tendency to raid childhood for inspiration, Lloyd’s response to the dark Scandinavian crime fiction trend is Moominmamma recast as a hard-bitten detective, applying her sing-song shriek to a disparaging critique of the novels, films and Kenneth Branagh, a minor joy.

Lloyd’s Andrew, a serious six-year-old gabbling malapropisms in a lecture on “William Shakeyspeare”, is less strong. Much better are Kitty Romford, a hot-blooded southern vamp masquerading as an Asda checkout girl, inner-monologue-ing like a woman possessed, and the returning Cockerney Sam, transgender variety hall tunesmith and sadist. Saving the best till last, Jooey Bechamel, Lloyd’s take on the Manic Pixie Dream Girl-type epitomised by Zooey Deschanel, is a wonderful character assassination that deserves a life beyond the Fringe.

• Until 27 August. Today 4:45pm.