Innes McQuillin

Edinburgh Fringe review: Abi Roberts, Twerk in Progress

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Speaking about Twerk in Progress to Giggle Beats prior to Edinburgh, Abi Roberts said “I have a mic, a bar stool and water, that’s it.”

When both the mic and a spare failed ten minutes in, her glance to the sound man was met by “keep going”. Abi did, rather magnificently, do just that.

A blonde bundle of energy, Abi makes quite an entrance, literally rushing the stage. It’s funny, the audience laughed and she hadn’t said a word. A bit of banter with the jam packed Saturday afternoon audience later, it’s apparent that she’s funny, quick, a little risqué and can work a room.

The good first impression continued as Abi started her set with a tight, nicely paced, and very funny routine that promised plenty of laughter ahead. It was, aside from Abi’s comic mastery of the art of twerking, the high point.

While the laughs continued, the routines that followed would benefit from tighter set-ups and a few smaller laughs in the build up to the big laugh.

Family, relationships and daytime TV, familiar targets all, featured prominently. Abi’s take on sex from a woman’s point of view went down well with the women in the audience and they laugh longer and louder than the men. Don’t ask me why.

A family story that Abi returns to throughout her set provided more light and shade than is normally found on a comedy stage. It was personal and provided for a touching and unexpected turn of events.

Unfortunately, a couple of routines that relied on sound effects for impact were undermined by the absence of the mic. That aside, sans mic, Abi’s voice filled the room. Having starred in musicals and cabaret she sings well and, as her twerking highlighted, she’s a natural physical comedian.

This is Abi’s first solo stand-up hour in Edinburgh, three years into a belated comedy career. Intent perhaps on catching up, she’s also appearing in Musical C.I.D at the Gilded Balloon.

Abi is a great live act. She kept the audience with her throughout. At her best with material sourced close to home, there is perhaps an unexplored seam in the back catalogue of her showbiz career.

As Morecambe and Wise found out, it’s about playing all the right notes in the right order. Abi Roberts is close to doing just that.

Date of live review: 9 August 2014 @ Voodoo Rooms

Click to read all our Edinburgh Fringe reviews so far.