John Thompson

Review: Lynsey Nellis: Talking To You Is Cheaper Than Therapy – The Three Sisters, Edinburgh

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Lynsey Nellis | Giggle Beats

Talking To You Is Cheaper Than Therapy, featuring Lynsey Nellis, Rory McAlpine and Tony Basnett.

Free package shows are a handy way for new acts to showcase their stuff in Edinburgh, but Talking To You Is Cheaper Than Therapy comes too soon for novice Lynsey Nellis.

Opening proceedings was compere Tony Basnett, who managed to inject some life into the dozen or so soggy punters with some chirpy audience interaction and was good value for his laughs. However, this represented a peak for laughs in proceedings as Basnett brought on today’s guest act Rory McAlpine.

McAlpine’s softly spoken routine had a couple of nice ideas, especially some decent topical material about the Murdochs. However his delivery, whilst enthusiastic, lacked the conviction to elicit much of a response from the audience with his better jokes, and left his more contrived and weaker material about getting bullied by a man half his size in a night club wanting.

After a brief revisit from Basnett, the show’s headline act Lynsey Nellis arrived stage. With little over a year spent performing stand up, Nellis’ 40 minute routine looking candidly at her relationship with her widower father was always going to be hugely ambitious and unfortunately that ambition backfired.

Her routine fell down on two key points: that her set had far too few jokes or gags, and that those included lacked any real originality. Material about old people struggling to come to terms with homosexuality and technology are both extremely well mined areas for stand ups and Nellis failed to find any new angles to avoid them being predictable and humdrum.

She did hit home with the odd well-written one liner and a couple of her stories were silly enough to raise a smile; however her low energy delivery and convoluted gag-lite material meant that this 40 minutes was a long one.

Whilst Nellis’ ambition and willingness to talk frankly about her life is to be commended, her anecdotal material on some overly familiar topics and understandably raw delivery – she is, after all, extremely new to stand up – left this set difficult to sit through. Witling her act down by 25 minutes and spending time on finding her own comic voice might be advisable before heading back up to the Fringe with another show.

2 Stars

Date of live show: Thursday 11th August 2011.