Rachel Fairburn: The Wolf at the Door (Live Nation) - Edfringe Review

Rachel Fairburn: The Wolf at the Door (Live Nation) - Edfringe Review

Content warning: mentions of suicide

The Wolf at the Door is a comedy hour about a bad year of Rachel’s life, and other times she’s made mistakes; including a bad impression at a school talent show and an offensive infant drawing. Rachel’s humour is blunt and dry, she is very matter-of-fact, and the tone of the show is very honest, whilst not getting too serious or self-pitying. It’s connected to Rachel’s childhood and family and is beautifully honest. It’s also funny; which is one of the main points, obviously.

“Very accessible, unpretentious, intelligent and funny”

The show presents an impressive amount of vulnerability, and it does what comedy (I think) should do. Rachel speaks for only herself, in a way that lots of people would connect to, including me. I had A Bad Bit in late 2016 and the first half of 2017 because of mistakes, A levels and losing friends, so I definitely related to what Rachel talks about, especially the feeling of ‘oh my god, when is this bit of life going to be over’. Having a bad patch can be so isolating; it makes you recede into yourself and live in a shell, so having shows that unite people who have experienced poor mental health areas, be it due to circumstance or just good ol’ brain chemistry is so powerful and so important. Rachel’s discussion of suicidal thoughts is particularly well handled and touching because she doesn’t talk about other people’s experiences. It feels very truthful and not as though she’s tiptoeing around the subject and increasing the stigma around it. (It’s a very complicated topic and lots of people are either insensitive about suicide and talk about it salaciously or they’re too cautious about it and it can add to the stigma that stops people getting help). There was a lot more to the show than a discussion of suicidal thoughts, but I think Rachel’s honest and funny story-telling is refreshing and important to the cause.

Rachel is also just a great laugh. I know a lot of her inside jokes already like her obsession with Oasis, her grumpy sister and a certain hashtag that has become associated with her (which IS salacious). All Killa No Filla, a true crime podcast that Rachel hosts with Kiri Pritchard-McClean is a favourite of mine so I think the show was a really lovely insight into her real life and more vulnerable side and I think I enjoyed it more because of this (although I had already heard some of the jokes before, but I’ll give her that. It’s a lot of content). Having said that, the show is good in its own right and is very accessible, unpretentious, intelligent and funny.

4/5

Image: Rachel Fairburn (Live Nation)

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