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Kate Fox News
Published on Sunday, 29 August 2010

4 stars

Gilded Balloon Teviot (venue website)
4-30 Aug (not 16), 12:15pm (1:15pm)
Reviewed by Trystan Davies

This just in - Kate Fox News will be your guide through the Grim North.

Kate Fox is a poet, comedian, author, journalist and regular on the BBC, and her show takes a fair and balanced look at everyday life through poetry. 

Fox’s life has been interesting, emotional and dramatic, from her childhood to the present day.  Her poems portray the big stuff that has happened to her, both personally and through the news; these stories shook her world and, being an inquisitive child, journalism was the obvious career choice.  These oddities, together with Fox’s gallows humour, make great poetry.

She covers every aspect of life from love to book-burning, so there's something here for everyone - though with a focus on British life, it's not really one for overseas visitors who may not understand the cultural context.  Despite this, Fox has also shifted her poetic attention to international stories such as the Icelandic volcano and Naomi Campbell’s part in the Blood Diamond trial.  I enjoyed all these, though felt frustrated that the poems were sometimes a bit brief.

Fox enjoys playing on words and linking various strands of thought, which were joyfully applauded by the audience.  The word-play was matched by jokes and hilarious recollections: for example, the time when her radio station announced the death of the Queen Mother and followed it with an inappropriate song called “What took you so long?”. 

The show is all about life’s strange events and how Kate Fox has approached them as a journalist, a poet, and as a Northern girl.  It’s the latter that gets the greatest laughs, as there's always a certain funny conflict between her youthful parochialism and the big news stories.  These angles balance out nicely between light humour and darkness.  The show suffered a little from being on at lunch time and at a venue that had workmen operating right outside the fire-exit, but the show must go on, and their noise was cleverly used to illustrate some of the poetic themes! 

Kate Fox has been described as Victoria Wood channelling Sylvia Plath, and I can happily agree.  I, for one, welcome this great addition to the comedy programme.

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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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