And On Your Left... Ruth Bratt, Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh Festival

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The Independent Culture

Character comedian Ruth Bratt snatches defeat from the jaws of victory with an abrupt ending to her show. Having carefully set up her central, linking character and a properly formed premise (a guided tour of Edinburgh, a canny nod to the home crowd), the show finishes suddenly, leaving a denouement hanging.

Our tour guide, a character named Kimberley, points out attractions that include false histories of well-known monuments. All the while she drops us morsels of her personal life; her bitter break-up and how she's resisting the advances of Steve the tour bus driver – "he's got a tattoo of a bat on his face and that doesn't scream stability to me."

Kimberley/Bratt drops us off at various points so that we can meet other characters, such as Nikita the Russian restaurant owner, who turns out to be the very same Nikita that Elton John once sang about. Along the way there are some great moments, including the idea that slugs are snails that have lost their homes in the credit crunch.

Despite using audio clips to keep Kimberley's presence as a glue for the show, Bratt fails to bring her back at the finish and instead there's an anticlimactic ending with her weakest character. Yet, even concluding with a whimper, the obvious workings of a clever comic mind could not be silenced.

To 25 August (0131-556 6550)

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