John-Paul Stephenson

Review: Mae Martin: Slumber Party – Underbelly, Edinburgh

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 Mae Martin is probably the most likable person you’ll see. Ever.

Bouncing on stage to The Rembrandts, high-fiving those who want to be high-fived, it’s easy to want to be Martin’s friend.

Relaxed and conversational, Martin’s outlook is positive, helped by a liberal upbringing by supportive parents.

As a consequence, the angst is limited to the adolescent, with no particularly ‘hard’ issues, other than a declined Facebook friend request. She acknowledges her sexuality, but chooses not to present in Slumber Party any homophobia, other than a careless magazine interview.

Perhaps the toughest thing she confronts is her memory of liking Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”.

That’s not quite true, of course. The story associated with that song, about how a relationship ended, evokes a heartfelt reaction from the audience. Boys can be horrible. Sorry about that.

There are hints of darkness when she mentions a stint in rehab, but even this is related as if she were talking about a trip to the cinema. Quickly pointing out she didn’t really need to be in rehab, the routine quickly shifts to the characters. There is no room for bleakness in Slumber Party.

But, what Slumber Party might lack in gravitas it makes up for in style. She’s engaging, making you feel that you’re immersed in a conversation with your best friend. Or in a conversation with a person who is too popular to be your best friend.

She is an absolute joy to listen to.

Date of live review: Thursday 8 August 2013

Mae Martin: Slumber Party is appearing at the Underbelly, Cowgate, Edinburgh until 25 August (not 14).