I first came across Louise Reay in 2015 when she played an Edinburgh fringe preview show in Cardiff, a lovely show,
which astonishingly, was performed in Chinese to prove that you can communicate without speaking the same language.
Fast forward a year and ironically her current show is limited due to a conflict over freedom of speech. Her 2017 show,
like a lot of comedians last year dealt with her relationship breakdown but unlike everyone else in that situation she will
be appearing at the High Court in due course to defend her comments.
Not surprisingly she can't talk about the pending court case but these limitations also extend to general topics eg politics,
religion etc, well anything basically that can be used against her character in court. Not only does this limit what she can
discuss but she has to read her show from a script carefully vetted by her lawyers. Once this is explained it naturally
puts the audience on edge as clearly we are not seeing the show Miss Reay would prefer to perform. The venue
(Cabaret Voltaire) doesn't help the atmosphere as this is a typical Free Festival room, hot, cramped with external noise
It is to Louise's credit that she managed to perform any type of show at all. Wearing huge shoulder pads (which filled a lot of the room) she referenced Talking Heads, Eraserhead and concentrated upon topics beginning with P including Pets, Pizza and paranormal. I can't pretend this is a great show, there are too many negative vibes about the show, but if you want to support a talented comedienne going through a tough time head to Cabaret Voltaire.
I also suspect that this court case will become a major "freedom of speech" event with ramifications for EVERY performer at the Fringe. So, this is your opportunity to see Louise before she appears on her most important stage yet.
Louise Reay: Eraserhead is at Cabaret Voltaire until August 26th (not 14th)
Laughing Horse @Cabaret Voltaire (Venue 338) 16.15