Comedy review: Beth Vyse: As Funny As Cancer

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Beth Vyse is a curious mixture, part northern club comic, part idiot surrealist.

Star rating: ***

Venue: Gilded Balloon at the Counting House (V170)

And in this show, which has leapt across to the not quite free Fringe, she’s doing a story telling number, recounting the true tale of how she faced up to cancer when in her late twenties.

Vyse, who bizarrely is a former member of the RSC, is a woman with naturally funny bones. But her wild pantomime style of performance is slightly at odds with the subject matter here.

During the course of her cancer story Vyse impersonates Dolly Parton, ropes in a member of the audience to play Michael Jackson and encourages us to play with a giant pink balloon and throw ping pong balls at the stage.

Her point is that life shouldn’t be too serious – and that things often don’t turn out the way you expect. Vyse wanted a marriage, a house and children but everything was derailed by her diagnosis.

This is a story she needed to tell, Vyse is collecting money for Cancer Research and the subject matter clearly resonates with her audience.

But I’m not convinced storytelling is her thing, and the balloons, the wigs, the fake boobs and the pratfalls seem to come from another kind of show altogether.

Until 28 August. Today 5:45pm.

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