★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
A charming, intelligent and endearing debut.
If the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe belongs to anyone, it's female comedians who are debuting their first hour. I've already written glowing reviews for Maisie Adam, Sindhu Vee and Sarah Keyworth and now it's time to turn my attention to Heidi Regan.
Born in Australia, Heidi began her career in stand-up comedy three years ago and not long into the festival she had already sold out her entire run. And after spending an hour in her company, it's clear to see why despite her calling herself a "slow burner".
Heidi's style of comedy is very warm and you feel very safe in her presence and as the hour goes on you warm to her even more and you want to continue the conversation with her afterwards. A conversation about shark films.
It's somewhat unusual to dedicate your entire first hour to talking about shark films but as Heidi proves, there's an awful lot to talk about and the observations she has made make for great comedy.
Using a Powerpoint presentation throughout her show to illustrate her points, Heidi teaches us a number of shark facts, takes us through a timeline of every shark film that there has ever been and uses clips from a number of shark films that will have you laughing, gasping and shaking your head. Sometimes all at the same time - especially during a certain John Barrowman clip.
Throughout the hour you will learn more about shark films than perhaps you ever thought you would and Heidi's mind-blowing theory about shark films (which she made us promise not to reveal) is a hugely satisfying end.
What's nice is that despite Heidi telling us how she doesn't like talking about herself, the shark film narrative has in turn allowed her to open up about her family, her friends Greg and Joan and her sexuality. The result being a charming, intelligent and endearing debut.
I never would have thought that one of my favourite shows this year would be about shark films, but that's the beauty of the Fringe. You never quite know what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Heidi's debut. I can't wait to see what she conjures up next time.
Heidi Regan: Heidi vs Sharks runs from 1st - 26th August at 7:15pm at the Pleasance Courtyard (Pleasance Below). Book tickets here.
(This review was based on the performance from Sunday 19th August 2018)