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Louise Young – Feral – Pleasance Courtyard at Edinburgh Fringe

You didn’t come by Megabus, did you?” Louise Young asks a couple of latecomers, discreetly let in by the venue’s staff but nonetheless catching the comedian’s eye. She was part-way through some musings on Megabus journeys, none of which have gone well for her, and all of which have ended in arriving substantially later than the published timetable says she would. I have yet to travel on a Megabus service, and based on Young’s experiences, I’m not going to any time soon.

Louise Young Raised in South Tyneside, she whizzes through a number of topics and themes with a quietly confident breeziness. She has had episodes of mental ill health, finding herself at least once admitted to a psychiatric ward. Having studied drama in London, she talks about living in some of the capital’s less affluent areas, and then there’s her Turkish father and the cultural differences that arise every time she pops over to visit that side of the family.

With a warm stage presence, it becomes clear she’s not had it easy in life – a previous flat-share proved problematic, as was trying to make use of chronically underfunded NHS mental health provision. Add to this some recollections of what it was like to come out and what it is like as a working-class lesbian up North, and it’s evident hers is a story far from over. I have an instinctive feeling there’s plenty more to come from Louise Young, and I’d like to think she’ll become a Fringe comedy regular. A promising debut act.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

Newcomer Louise Young is a rapidly rising star; her show Feral is about class, chaos and coming out. Through a number of chaotic life experiences the show delves into what it means to be an unpalatable type of working class, navigating the edges of poverty, mental illness and how easy it is to fall through the cracks. Whilst vulnerable, it’s equally warm and joyful, turning her Geordie lens on lesbian culture and her relationship with her Turkish side. It is an upbeat look at dysfunction, haphazard living and feeling out of place in the arts.

Pleasance Courtyard, Bunker One

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