Festival chat shows are a dime-a-dozen here at the Fringe but only a handful really are able to do the format justice. It’s a tough gig, as you have to be entertaining, quick on your feet, be funny yet let the guests be just as funny… get it wrong and even the strongest personality can crumble. Sadly, despite being in the very likeable hands of Olivia Lee, hilarious in Balls of Steel and Olivia Lee’s Naughty Bits, that’s just what happens tonight.
She’s fun and cheeky but she makes a host of mistakes that rather than get the audience onside have them staring at the floor to avoid her gaze. Poking fun at the crowd is expected, but she’s only been on for five minutes before she’s mocking some one’s clothes, commenting on a lady sitting by herself or making reference to a man being fat. It’s far from offensive but it hardly relaxes the crowd.
Luckily she has three very strong guests to bail her out: Tiffany Stevenson, Chris Martin and Tim FitzHigham. Disappointingly, Lee’s interactions with them is up to no good. Stevenson runs rings around our presenter, giving Lee not a chance to say anything of note except nod in agreement. Chris Martin doesn’t even chat with her instead just gives a small segment of his stand-up routine, but poor Tim FitzHigham gets the worst deal: his fascinating stories are repeatedly interrupted so often that he has to politely ask her to let him finish a story.
A chat show with little chat, this is a weak hour of entertainment, she’s painfully out of her comfort zone and it makes for an equally painful watch.