Comedy review: Harriet Kemsley: Bad at Doing

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: It is wonderful when comedy surprises you, and this show certainly does that. I don't know why I enjoy watching Harriet K quite so much, I just do.

Just the Tonic at The Caves (Venue 88)


You can feel the funny bubbling up inside her and then sort of escaping in a frequently messy, uncoordinated way. And it is joyful. Neurotic and squeaky and a little bit crazy but most definitely joyful.

This year Kemsley got married but she thoughtfully gallops us through some lowlights of her singledom before it becomes too much of a dim memory: morning after pills and her inability to say goodbye politely lead to her humanitarian work and thence to the main topic of the show. Kemsley has dyspraxia – dyslexia’s less attractive elder sister. When she got her diagnosis everything became clear: her clumsiness, lack of co-ordination, the oceans of spilt drinks and the inadequate line dancing. She is also a vegetarian who is allergic to raw fruit, vegetables and nuts. It is almost unbelievable that she doesn’t qualify for a free parking space. She takes us through a catalogue of disasters, shares her hope that her new husband will have an affair and, in an intimate moment towards the end of her hour, uses one of my favourite words – riddled.

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Go along and find out why. Kemsley is one of those comics who just make me smile and giggle. And that is, I feel, a good thing. Don’t sit in the front row, she is liable to drop something.

Until 27 August. Today 9pm.