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ED FRINGE REVIEW Evelyn Mok, Bubble Butt

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

When her material lands, it really lands and she knows how to deliver a joke. But her problem is that it doesn't land often enough.

"I love making people uncomfortable. I love it." Does she? I'm not so sure. It seems as if the uncomfortableness that Evelyn Mok's audience feels isn't always a result of the topics discussed, such as child grooming, sex or the fact that she grew up in Sweden as the daughter of Chinese immigrants, but rather a result of the way in which these jokes are delivered.

Unfortunately Bubble Butt isn't the follow-up to Hymen Manoeuvre that I was hoping for and it's a real shame. It's a shame because Evelyn Mok is a very competent performer but she currently lacks the confidence to deliver a joke and assert her opinion in a way in which the audience truly feel uncomfortable and cope with by laughing. That where she should be.

As it stands, Evelyn would tell a joke, it would be met by silence and she'd exclaim how much she loves making audiences feel uncomfortable. Evelyn shows plenty of promise, but the material sadly isn't constructed well enough, but there are some great moments.

Her joke about the way in which Scottish parents discipline their children landed incredibly well as did her final song, a nod to the popular television show Friends and a certain part of her body which is sweaty. Clue. It's not her bubble butt.

To give her credit, it was an unusual show to attend as it took play on the day in which comedian Joel Dommett was gatecrashing 99 gigs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe all in aid of Stand Up To Cancer and Evelyn knew that her show was one of them. On getting the nod that Joel was on his way, Evelyn just stopped. She didn't have material to fill and didn't want to go into the next part of the show. Instead she would rather wait for Joel to arrive, but as the silence continued, Evelyn decided to continue with the show after all and launched into a new part of her story.

And actually, as it turned out, Joel arrived at the best part of Evelyn's story (the part where she first describes her sweaty body part) which lead to Joel talking about his sweaty balls! Much funnier than if he had walked in to awkward silence.

There was also a couple behind me who decided after Joel's appearance that enough was enough and they decided to leave. Is the show worth that level of disrespect? Absolutely not and I felt really sorry for Evelyn who noticed their exit. She also pointed me out as the reviewer... always awkward.

I'm not writing Evelyn Mok off as a performer. When her material lands, it really lands and she knows how to deliver a joke. But her problem is that it doesn't land often enough. Being likeable can only get you so far. It can be 15/20 minutes before the next proper laugh, too long for an hour-long show.

Perhaps returning the year after her debut was too much for Evelyn. I really hope she takes the time to write her next show and if it isn't ready for next year, then that's fine. Good material is worth waiting for. I'd much rather see her smash it than return with another lacklustre hour.

Evelyn Mok: Bubble Butt runs until 26th August at 6pm at The Pleasance Courtyard (Pleasance One). Book tickets here.

(This review was based on the performance from Thursday 16th August 2018)


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