Comedy review: Jenny Collier: Jen-Hur

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Jenny Collier’s full solo debut at the Fringe appears textbook in the marks it hits for an introductory show.

Rating: ***

Venue: Underbelly Med Quad (Venue 302)

Allusions to the unrelated title, crowbarred in with apologetic knowingness; Welsh background exploited for its relative exotica; parent gently mocked for eccentricity, her mother’s malapropisms; plus a series of jobs that she was spectacularly ill-suited for, resulting in an eventual comedy career. All competently nailed.

But there’s more to the likeable Collier than meets the eye, and not just with the seemingly affected way that she pronounces Latin plurals. There’s a brief mention of the sexism controversy that initially defined her emergence on the circuit. But she spins it out into a personal observation on her brief, subsequent encounter with global fame that’s richly funny in its arch self-mockery.

A little insecure, she’s nevertheless got a strong, relatable quality that, in tandem with her steeliness and big management backing, suggests that she might have future mainstream appeal. Rather frustratingly, in her breezy crowd work, chatting to the front row, she doesn’t repeat their answers, meaning the rest of the room only hears one half of the conversation.

Until 28 August. Today 5:30pm

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