Comedy review: Alison Spittle Discovers Hawaii

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Breezily chatty and effusively funny, Alison Spittle is a likeable combination of openness and chortling mischief.

Star rating: ***

Venue: Gilded Balloon at the Counting House (Venue 170)

Hawaii for her is a dream destination, though essentially as an imaginary safe space for her to enter as sanctuary from her mental health problems.

Decking her stage out in inflatable bananas and a palm tree, a prop she literally leans on, it’s reflective of how comedy has come to be one of the few places she can relax and be herself.

Notwithstanding her diagnosis at school, which the Irishwoman gamely exploited to get out of lessons and land a trip to Portugal, her problems escalated when she moved to Dublin and twice found herself facing burglars, as well as the random attentions of a flasher. Told with the distance of someone whose job it is to process life into stand-up, Spittle conveys the strangeness of each incident in amusing detail while retaining the gravity of the situation – her transition into becoming a Howard Hughes-style hermit, too scared to even visit the toilet is recreated with knowing ridiculousness.

Happily, she’s now in a more-or-less functioning relationship and delights in leading her crowd in a game of increasingly tortuous movie star puns.

Until 29 August. 1:45pm.

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