reviews and recommendations

Brighton Fringe: Louise Reay – Hard Mode

Louise Reay’s latest show takes the audience on an immersive journey into China. But not a cute one where we all eat Chinese food and stroke pandas – one where we all wear matching napkins, need ID on us and are constantly being watched under an authoritarian regime.

Sometimes reviewing comedy is easy. You can just say it was very funny and touch on some of the subjects addressed in the routine. I’ve seen Louise perform before and expected a fun show delivered entirely in Chinese. Hard Mode is not easy to review, Louise Reay has created an intense show that touches on personal experience and themes society must address.

Hard Mode ranges from absurdist style comedy with wigs, leotards and amusing ‘documentary’ footage of an¬†Ai Weiwei interview, to Louise’s imaginings of a BBC bought by China seen through the eyes of the saddest news presenter in the world. But Hard Mode has another subject running through it that is slowly revealed bit by bit, which is at times hard to watch and listen to.

Highly original and well thought out, I strongly recommend you add Hard Mode onto your Edinburgh Fringe schedule.