It’s another night at Just The Tonic, this time with Kelsey De Almeida and Fiona Ridgewell who put on their double-bill headliner Home Truths (five quid or pay what you want) at The Small Kirk Room situated between the Cowgate and Grassmarket.
With the seats now full and spotlight transfixed on the low stage ahead, first up is Kelsey De Almeida, a young London comic touted as “one to watch” by Ellen Asquith and whom Stephen K Amos once announced he was “blown away by”. He’s a comic who openly admits his youthful face and feminine name brings him hardly any luck with the opposite sex, a formula sure to usually bring a few laughs. The issue isn’t that he’s not all that funny, the issue is that it’s just not all that original – recycled on-stage antics and unoriginal crowd patter galore. Come on! Give us something new. He does manage to conjure up a few laughs however with a solid command of the stage, barely putting a word wrong. With more experience and some fine tuning, he’ll have a successful career. Now however, his act peeters out as he welcomes Fiona Ridgewell to follow up.
Fiona takes to the stage and follow up she does not. Spouting awkward, quite frankly boring, tales of living with her mother and grandmother whilst juggling a monotonous life of 30-year-old single-dom, her tales fall on deaf ears (murmured laughs are heard, probably out of sympathy) as she carries on the act out of necessity. Ridgewell must have done something right once-upon-a-time however, after being titled as a Golden Jester, Jokers Joker and Comedy Knights finalist. Eventually, after what seems like several days but I’m astounded to discover was only half an hour, Fiona steps off stage to applause and the double act crawls to an awkward close. I really do wonder about the state of British comedy if this is what the future holds.
Upon leaving the Small Kirk Room I make a promise to myself that when I get home I’ll read up on how acts are chosen for the Edinburgh Fringe in the first place.
Not for me.
Home Truths runs until 27th August at Just the Tonic at The Community Project, 14:45.