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Bec Hill Didn't Want to Play Your Game Anyway
Published on Tuesday, 24 August 2010

4.5 stars

Gilded Balloon Teviot (venue website)
4 - 30 Aug (not 17), 4:00pm (5:00pm)
Reviewed by Craig Thomson

Bec Hill wants to be the girl who never grew up.  Or rather, she doesn't want to lose the joy of childhood by accepting the strictures of the adult world – and, judging by her playful manga-hair appearance, she hasn't.  What she has done is take that wish and build it into a genuine, affectingm and wonderfully funny stand-up show.

Hill stands at the door to welcome you in personally, and the door proves important throughout: it's referred to continually as a useful metaphor for the transition to adulthood.  Coming into the cosy Turret room at Gilded Balloon to hear her pitch, we've gone back through through the portal to our childhood, and will return to our blameless lives of bourgeois domesticity when we leave.  But the conceit, revealed as she charges off the stage, is that the door is never locked: we can come and go as we please (not literally – the venue staff wouldn't appreciate that), and can combine youthful exuberance and delight with the grind of adult concerns.

At least, that's what I think Bec Hill Didn't Want To Play Your Stupid Game Anyway is about.  It's also an immensely fun and playful set, with some great jokes.  There are some not-so-great ones too: Hill was mentioned on a list of the worst jokes of the 2010 Fringe compiled for Dave, the TV station, and tweeted about her disappointment by saying “I've got FAR worse jokes than that in my show!”  She's probably right, but they tend to fall into the so-bad-they're-good category, and are complemented by plenty of plain, simple great ones.

Her trusty sketch-books, propped up on an easel alongside her on the stage, are lovingly hand-crafted and at points pleasingly intricate.  They also provide plenty of laughs, a few of which take a while for the audience to catch up with (look out for the apology-drawings, which are just great).  The glorious finale combines heavy sketch-book use with a musical number, and one of those jokes that treads the very fine line between genius and awfulness.

I'm coming down on the side of genius, personally.  Although Bec Hill Didn't Want To Play Your Stupid Game Anyway, you'll have a great time playing hers.

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These are archived reviews of shows from the Edinburgh Fringe 2010.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to those we've featured, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

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