Comedy review: Jay Lafferty: Besom

editorial image
Have your say

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: If you’re not from Scotland you may assume this show is about boobs. Scots, though, will know the word “besom”. It’s a mischievous girl, a ­troublesome teen, a lady of low morals... if there’s an equivalent term tossed at males, ­Lafferty hasn’t heard it.

Gilded Balloon at Rose Theatre (Venue 76)


But she may just find it in this show, which sees her telling stories about, often against, herself.

And of course, being a cheeky wee besom, she’s not averse to having a pop at deserving others, such as the ­brother-in-law who insists his tiny babe’s toy ­butterfly be addressed as Papillon, and spoken to only in French. “Besom” is not the first word that comes to mind.

This debut isn’t really a theme show, it’s Lafferty demonstrating that while she makes her living mainly as a comedy club host – she’s also been on Scot Squad, but that’s pretty much compulsory – she can shine in the spotlight with the best of them.

Not that there is a spotlight – Lafferty keeps the lights up throughout, all the better to see her audience – she’s terrific at banter, able to connect as easily with a New Yorker as a Newton Mearns-er.

There’s great stuff about an imaginary friend, and fun with Stretch Armstrong, but Lafferty’s best material is her most personal, concerning her attempts to get ­pregnant (just don’t expect her to throw one of those “gender reveal” parties so popular with the hipsters).

Warm, wise, witty and ­occasionally waspish, ­Lafferty is one to watch. And if you do watch her, don’t be surprised if you become Besom buddies.

Until 28 August. Today 8:30pm.