24 Hours with Mary Lynn Rajskub

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04/08/16

Assembly George Square Studios, Edinburgh

Mary Lynn Rajskub is best known for her role in hit American TV series 24, and that notoriety is certainly helping her to draw in a crowd. As a comedian, she has little presence in the UK, but she seems set to have a successful debut at the fringe. But, while it might be her fame as an actor that brings the punters in, they’re unlikley to leave disappointed if tonight’s performance is anything to go by. Because she’s really very good.

She seems a little tired, and needs to refer to her set-list on occasion, but this is the first show, and she’s jet-lagged, so we can forgive her that. She’s a strong, engaging performer, with an easy confidence and an attractive persona: she’s self-deprecating but not too much; she knows how good she is.

There’s a confessional tone to the show, and what seems like genuine emotion behind the stories she tells (although she is, of course, an actress…); she’s relatable despite being an international star. Her account of attending the Golden Globes, for example, is less a starry tale of showbiz glamour than an everywoman howl at how awkward life can be.

There are a couple of hack moments (slagging off man-buns just seems too easy, really), but overall this is a delightful show. Mary Lynn is an interesting woman, and it’s worth hearing what she has to say.

4 stars

Susan Singfield

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