Tiff Stevenson has become one of the largest comediennes in Britain since her appearances in popular shows like 8 out of 10 cats and the cult BBC show People Just Do Nothing. And, it’s with the momentum gained from these projects that she takes on Edinburgh Fringe Fest 2017, with “Bombshell”. A very clever show featuring an abundance of energy and charm.
The name of her latest fringe Show is incredibly apt as her acerbic style brings down major sources of discontent, from subway manspreading to inept politicians. She describes her temperament as “oscillating between Sylvia Plath and Beyonce”, which may seem like a bit of bizarre way to sum up a show. However, these condescending outlooks mesh nicely in “Bombshell” to create a sense of inner conflict that remains fascinating throughout.
Her fast paced delivery also captivated the audience throughout the one hour show, with very little breathing room given between tangents. This definitely works in her favour with very few duds in the first half of her set, and when a joke didn’t land there wasn’t time to dwell on it too much. It’s not a completely consistent show however, some of the material towards the end feeling weaker compared to the powerful start. It’s not that these later lines aren’t entertaining, they just lack the imagination of the previous non-sequiturs.
Stevenson’s show could have verged on becoming a lecture had it not been so meticulously arranged. Instead it feels like a conversation with a close friend, Stevenson’s warmth spreading through the room. There’s not an exceptional amount of audience interaction, but that’s possibly in Bombshell’s favour. As the whole thing is very clearly a directed path, through carefully selected set pieces, to keep attendees uncertain of what’s coming next or what tone it’ll take.
★★★ (and a half)