Edinburgh 2018: BWW Review: JAY LAFFERTY: WHEESHT!, Gilded Balloon
"Wheesht" is a Scottish expansion of "Shh", often used within the phrase "Haud yer wheesht" when telling someone to shut up north of the border. Seasoned Scottish comedian Jay Lafferty returns to the Fringe after being rated one of the top reviewed comedians at the 2017 Fringe Festival.
This time she brings an hour of stories and anecdotes around the theme of being loud and not knowing when to shut up - particularly difficult when much of your job as a stand-up comedian involves talking.
Lafferty opens her show by getting to know several people in the audience before proceeding to share her views on a variety of topics, from opinionated generation Z bloggers to old school reports where teachers used less subtle methods than they do now to describe difficult pupils.
She also touches on her methods to annoy noise makers in modern society, from youths blaring music from their phones on buses to ruining video calls being made by members of the public.
Lafferty's cheery nature puts the (relatively quiet) room at ease and she adapts her performance for those present, without ever pressuring the audience to be more vocal, which would have been ironic given the topic of the show was about being quiet.
Her quick wit and attention to detail involves individual audience members in her anecdotes throughout, be it about the perils of online dating to generational differences within the room.
Lafferty also takes the opportunity to address the cultural shift that the #metoo and #timesup campaigns have created in giving a voice to many women who previously felt they could not speak up against abuse. She stresses the importance of listening alongside making our views known about such subjects.
This show addresses when it is good to talk, when it is less appropriate, and when it leads to particularly funny circumstances. Jay Lafferty knows how to tell a story and is an engaging and amusing individual.
Photo credit: Gilded Balloon