reviews and recommendations

Fanny’s at 5

Scottish comedians (and self-professed pair of fannies) JoJo Sutherland and Susan Morrison, both comedians in their own right, make a hilarious double act. At 5.05pm daily at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, anyone brave enough is welcome (be warned, a 14+ minimum age is advised) to join Fanny’s at 5.

Faces shining with perspiration they arrive flustered, as if they’ve only moments to spare. In their broad, warm Scottish accents they instantly encourage us to pass two tubs of M&S chocolate brownies around. Have you ever been to your gran’s, or family friend’s house, and not instantly been offered food? It’s a subtle touch that creates the crucial feeling that you’re among friends. Our two new pals will get to know us just as much as we’ll learn about them so do not expect this show to be a one-way conversation. Throughout the hour they question the audience in turn; don’t think you can hide at the back! Their confidence and never-miss-a-trick flair for crowd work is truly something to behold. The embarrassment factor’s light-hearted, though, and no-one is left feeling small.

JoJo and Susan are older, if not all that wiser, but their wit matches the shared knowledge of their years. This is not just mindless chatter, there are quickfire gags that you’d blink and miss. The pair don’t miss a beat as they share outrageous truths about each other’s lives. Bouncing off one another in playful one-upmanship, they’re either egging each other on or rolling their eyes at each other’s idiocy in equal measure.

Sharing a conversational delivery style that seems effortless, JoJo and Susan are endlessly entertaining to watch. Speaking in Scots dialect, it can take an untrained ear a moment to catch up but this is part of their charm. Scottish audience members were tickled pink as the ladies took the mickey and indulged in local banter, without alienating out-of-towners. The fannies tackle topics such as childbirth and the menopause, traumatising a 14 year-old-girl and her mother on the front row in the process. Their brand of riotous material is a real hoot and while some Edinburgh shows are finely scripted, the fun in Fanny’s is the unpredictable conversation. JoJo and Susan are masters of speaking off the cuff. (Or perhaps ‘off the muff’, our fannies may say!) It’s an anything-can-happen hour of bawdy amusement and, as such, is not going to be suited to everyone’s tastes. It’s a truthful, engaging show and most comedy fans, particularly women ‘of a certain age’, will be left in awe of JoJo and Susan’s sharp wit. As the hour comes to an end, we’re left wanting more. As we enter the final weekend of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018 my advice is to catch these fannies together while you can.

★★★★

Fanny’s at 5 at 5.05pm at The Stand 2 until 26th August at 5.05pm. For tickets and more information click here.

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