Lorenzo Pacitti

Edinburgh Fringe review: Harriet Dyer, Barking At Aeroplanes

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Despite the single digit crowd, there’s a pleasant atmosphere in Bar 50 as the few punters here tonight hang on Harriet Dyer’s every word.

This is a serious strength of her act; it’s impossible to deny how fascinating Dyer is as an individual. Her show, Barking At Aeroplanes, is crammed with low-status, high-interest stories about desperate times in Harriet’s life, each assessed by the amiable Dyer on varying degrees of ‘mental’.

Unfortunately this doesn’t always translate into funny, and, as the show develops, Dyer’s latest hour feels increasingly like a club set stretched to the limit. Perhaps as a result, it’s also noticeably lacking in structure.

Dyer’s way into a story can be hackneyed, leading to a disjointed feel to the show, and she gets sidetracked far too often, breaking a routine to dissect a comment she just made or correct herself in the third person. It could be a stylistic choice, but it’s off-putting and damages the structural integrity of the performance, particularly if the asides aren’t really worth stopping the show for.

Barking At Aeroplanes is unlikely to set your pulse racing, but it’s a curious hour with a heart-warming message at its core.

Date of live review: 1 August 2014, @ Bar 50

Click to read all our Edinburgh Fringe reviews so far.