Helen Ackrill (CHORTLE)

Helen Ackrill has a strong sense of what’s fair, and never criticises anything without first giving a thorough explanation. And when she praises something she tends to do it from the side, above, below and close up. Helen Ackrill tends to say the same thing over and over again.

I’m not going to be a dick about it because it’s clear that she’s just trying to be reasonable and probably doesn’t yet have the confidence of her own words. She should have. When she tells us that “[Darren] Walsh struggles with the few heckles made at his expense”, that works fine as a statement. It didn’t need the 80 words that comprised the rest of the paragraph and said the same thing different ways. Similarly she doesn’t like it when 50 Shades of Fizzog introduce a fourth actor halfway through. Her instincts are correct, this IS perhaps a bit unusual. But Ackrill didn’t need to suggest a whole raft of reasons why it might have happened.

For all this, the progress of the show is always made very clear and one can only admire Ackrill’s enthusiasm; particularly in her love-letter review to Markus Birdman. She doesn’t get too florid, either, though she needs to avoid lazy idioms. Where she writes “Puns are like Marmite” I wanted to respond “What are cliché’s like, Helen? Salad cream?” (Actually maybe I AM going to be a dick about it…)

Also I’d like to nominate Helen for the Fringepig Faint Praise Award, which I just invented,  for writing “It makes a refreshing change to have a comedian chat about everyday situations without needing to make a joke at the end of every sentence.”

If you want unfunny comedian chat, Helen, come to my flat in Marchmont. We have biscuits.

Boxley de Ribeiro

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