Edinburgh Festival review – Holly Walsh

Holly Walsh’s debut show flies far better than her cardboard helicopter did, even if it doesn’t soar

Holly_Walsh3Holly Walsh’s Edinburgh debut, Hollycopter, is a story-based show, in which she tells the tale of her ill-fated participation in the Worthing Birdman Contest, which involved jumping off Worthing pier in a flimsy home-made construction.

A year ago Walsh took on the challenge in order to banish the memory of a disastrous jump off a high diving board in a Guildford Leisure Centre that has haunted her since her teens.

Dressed as a damsel in distress and having acted out a pier-top sketch with a body builder in a Rambo costume and his Nazi-uniformed Dad, Walsh took the Birdman plunge in a cardboard helicopter that unsurprisingly failed to take flight, leaving her with an even more painful memory to replace her old one.

There is one word that best describes Hollycopter and that is ‘polished’. Walsh is a consummate professional with all the easy charm and confidence you would expect from a former children’s television presenter.

Like a female Dave Gorman, Walsh tells her story with the aid of a Powerpoint presentation, venn diagrams and video clips and she is in total command of her material and interacts easily with the audience.

Her gags are consistently amusing, although they fail to get the audience roaring, and while some comics at Edinburgh could do with having more structure in their sets, Walsh’s show would probably benefit from loosening the reins a little. Nevertheless, this an impressive debut from a comic that we can reasonably expect big things of in the future.

3.5 stars

Holly Walsh: The Hollycopter is on at 6pm at the Pleasance Courtyard.
Review written by Will Gore

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