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ED FRINGE REVIEW London Hughes, To Catch a Dick

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Her unfaltering energy produces rip-roaring routines that leave audiences rolling about with laughter.

When London Hughes first came to the Fringe in 2017, by her own admission "people weren't ready" for her. Now after a very successful 18 months or so with numerous television appearances under her belt, it seems people are ready to get on board with London's refreshingly rude, honest and confident style of comedy.

Selling out night after night, London should be playing a venue much larger than the 50-seater attic she's been given in the Pleasance Courtyard and I've no doubt that if she were to return next year she'll be in one of the larger venues and continue to sell out.

Most show titles bear no relevance to the show by the time Edinburgh arrives, with comedians having to write their blurb and choose their title at the start of the year, but for London Hughes, the show could not have been called anything other than To Catch a Dick - although if her grandmother asks, Dick means Richard. But for everyone else, dick means dick. A point she makes very clear at the start of the show.

London's charm is that she has an enormous ego and her unfaltering energy produces rip-roaring routines that leave audiences rolling about with laughter. She's a very physical performer, moving about the stage with purpose and with moves I've never seen any other comedians pull off. She's refreshingly unfiltered too, the tales she tells are explicit, with no detail left out - she knows who she is and you're either on board with it or your not and thankfully, the audiences she's pulling in are 100 percent on board.

Not many (or actually any) comedy shows begin with the comedian singling out a white male from the audience and asking them how many sexual partners they've had. Only London could get away with asking that question and making audience members feel comfortable enough to divulge that information - on this particular night the answer was 27.

She also later invites another white male onto the stage to come up with a new universal symbol for going down on a woman - one to rival the one for going down on a man that's not putting your tongue between two fingers. Again, despite some hesitance from the man in question, London makes them feel more comfortable than her initial persona would have you believe.

Growing up wanting to be a ho and not seeing it as something to be ashamed of, London takes us through her history of catching dick to see how she ended up still single at the age of 30 - many say it's because she's "too much" or because she's a comedian - but as London quite rightly points out (Google it and you'll see), male comedians have no problem attracting the opposite sex and they're always punching. After all, we live in a world where Jason Manford is a player.

She talks about being sacked from a porn TV channel, moving to Brighton to catch dick before completing it and moving back to London and the many men she's encountered in her 18 years of catching dick - men who have made her role play, men who have been obsessed with her feet and one particular man who picked her up in a Ferrari.

It's not all about catching dick though, there's also a laugh-out-loud routine about her many middle names and how they came to be as well as her hilarious reaction to people always telling her she "should go to Edinburgh".

From the moment walks in to the room, London makes you feel comfortable, entertained and like you're catching up with a best mate who trusts you with never-ending tales of her sex life and thoughts on how men could go down on women better. The gags come at a rapid pace that mean the audience are very rarely silent so if you're looking for someone who has the full package, London is that person. No doubt about it.

There's no one quite like her on the comedy circuit, a circuit which has been pale, male and stale for far too long and crying out for someone like London. It's so good to see her finally pulling in the audiences and getting the critical recognition she deserves. Is To Catch a Dick the best show of the Fringe? It's definitely up there!

London Hughes: To Catch a Dick runs until 25th August at 8.15pm at the Pleasance Courtyard (Attic). Book tickets here.


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