reviews and recommendations

Hayley Ellis: Once, Twice, Three Times a Hayley

Hayley Ellis has a warm and funny personality that hits you the minute she greets you at the door of her intimate audience centred show. It is no surprise that her comedy has been championed by the likes of Jason Manford as this quirky lady has a great show with a personal touch and fantastic audience interaction.

This idiosyncratic show is essential fringe viewing and you don’t even need to be a pigeon fancier to enjoy it. With a relaxed and friendly style, Hayley escorts the audience through her pigeon based memoir using a series of family photos. This much-denounced bird is given centre stage on this occasion and the positive aspects of flying vermin are highlighted as a social mechanism in a gentle whimsical stream of consciousness.

With this show, you even get a free kazoo lesson. The room was literally buzzing as we blew into our vibrating membranes. Once Twice Three times a Hayley is just the tonic if you are suffering from Edinburgh fringe burn out. With a constant flow of quick-fire gags, Hayley is fantastic at audience interaction as she tries to persuade us of the beauty and loyalty of pigeons. The biographical aspect of the show is covered by tales of Hayley’s granddad and his homing pigeons, with a witty routine that includes stories about pigeon fanciers and CCTV systems.

The concept is a clever but simple one, engaging us in a story about a lost homing pigeon and gives a personal aspect to Hayley’s comedy while allowing the audience to connect emotionally with her at the same time. Pigeons are war heroes and noble birds to both Hayley and her granddad. The show is strong on audience participation and even a game show as we shouted out our guesses of Confused Man or Pigeon Fancier. I highly recommend this warm and engaging show from an original and very funny lady. 

★★★★

Hayley Ellis: Once, Twice, Three Times a Hayley is at 18:20 at Just the Tonic at the Mash House until 26th August. For tickets and more information click here!

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