Words by Suzy Romer
Kiri Pritchard-McLean had some killer material (I’m talking shrieks here) when I first saw her a couple of years ago on a mixed bill show. This is the first year I have seen the full hour and what a splendid show it is. She is utterly at ease with the audience and remains constantly alert and open to reactions around the room. We relax and laugh with her from the start. While she is in complete control of her material, her performance is set alight by her ability to pepper her show with ideas from the audience and things that she has just thought of. I had the opportunity to see just how masterful she is at combining good writing with improvisation because a fire alarm meant I saw the first section of her show twice.
Her material is fresh, well-rounded and wide-ranging. Among other topics she explores the borders between working and middle class culture with a critical but non-judgemental eye. Far from alienating or dividing her audience, she looks at the ways we can use privilege in a positive way, and she brings this same humanity and kick-start energy to the subjects of education, family life and relationships between the generations.
Her audience interaction is flawless and this particular writer was almost persuaded to announce something very personal in front of the whole room as a result. I wonder whether an Edinburgh audience might be coaxed into writing down admissions on scraps of paper? Having been brought down to earth and then shown our potential, we come away from the show in a state of high emotion and positive ambition. Her words stay with you. This is an opportunity to see someone far ahead of her venue size and it is one of the best hours you can spend at the Fringe.
Catch Kiri Pritchard-McLean: Appropriate Adult at 8.15pm at Pleasance Courtyard throughout August