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Suzi Ruffell – Edinburgh Festival review

Tuesday, August 14 2012

An impressive debut show by Suzi Ruffell ...

Suzi Ruffell

Suzi Ruffell bounds on to the tiny downstairs stage at the Pleasance Courtyard with all the rollercoaster enthusiasm of someone who’s clearly in their element and loving every second of it. In the slew of stand-up comics laying siege to the Fringe stages, it’s a sheer delight to see one who is so immediately comfortable in front of their audience and, without being arrogant or aggressively assertive, can stake their claim to the stage and put you at your ease.

She’s immense fun to be in the room with. The energy is there from the start and doesn’t let up. It’s a dynamic set – by no means ground-breaking, but delivered with plenty of aplomb. Tales of drinking, dancing and heartache carry us through, with some good old audience interaction thrown in. Ruffell likes to involve her audience, in the best possible way. Do not be surprised at the odd song rendition or two, or even a cheeky compatibility check of your respective names.

The material is still to a certain extent in development and doesn’t stray much outside of anecdotal territory. It begins somewhat unremarkably (drunken dares) but picks up into something more poignant and personal. The refreshing thing about Ruffell is that, although her sexuality is intrinsic to her narrative, it doesn’t enter into the equation straight away, and at no point does it feel like she’s falling back on this as her "shtick". It comes to the fore when it takes centre-stage of her story: she doesn’t whip it out at the start as some sort of cheap gimmick. In a comedic landscape where sexual predilection is too often loudly proclaimed without having any purpose in the material, this reserve is rare and makes her stand out all the more.

This is Ruffell’s first full-length show in Edinburgh and the material is not quite at the standard yet to do full service to her comedic talents. But she is undoubtedly a rising star: if you want to see what talent looks like before it hits big, catch her now.

3.5 stars

Suzi Ruffell – Let's Get Ready To Ruffell is on at 6pm at the Underbelly

Review written by Sarah Sharp


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