Louisa Fitzhardinge: Comma Sutra


Gilded Balloon Patter House (Nip), Edinburgh

Louisa Fitzhardinge is an engaging performer, her nerdy enthusiasm both infectious and entertaining. This is a show about language and pedantry, and about learning to embrace who you really are. Fitzhardinge opens with some grammar gripes, then sings us her autobiography, explaining how an early love of reading led to a modern languages degree.

I relate to Comma Sutra well. I too completed a BA in German, and – like Fitzhardinge – went on to study Theatre. I’m a stickler for proper punctuation, and a fan of the Oxford comma. Her subject matter appeals to me.

In places, Comma Sutra is very good; there’s a lot of sprightly wordplay, and the final multi-lingual number is particularly impressive. Fitzhardinge has a lovely voice, and the songs are witty and fun. Sometimes it feels a little superficial though, those gags about apostrophes and misplaced commas perhaps too easy and unchallenging. I don’t mind the dad jokes and the terrible puns – but  they’re not exactly demanding, and I find this section drags somewhat. I think I’d just like her to dig a bit deeper, to explore less charted territory.

Overall, though, I enjoy myself. It’s a pleasure to spend an hour in the company of this charming pedant, and I leave with a smile on my face as I think about ‘oak croissants’.

3 stars

Susan Singfield



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