Ava Vidal: Remember, Remember The 4th Of November, The Stand, Edinburgh

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The Independent Culture

Loosely basing her set around the election of Barack Obama and partially inspired by the President's writings, Ava Vidal's Edinburgh campaign reaches a peak half-way through, only to falter thereafter.

Between profile outings on E4's Kings of Comedy and the BBC's Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, Vidal has seen her poll ratings improve thanks to a warmer delivery style. The rejuvenation of her own persona and the show's emphasis on attempting personal growth tie in neatly, although the cohesion of the theme comes unstuck.

Now on a reformist kick, Vidal seeks to be more of a role model, to emulate Obama, but of course things are never that straightforward in comedy. Revealing that she was recently arrested on a cocaine charge she remarks: "I never do drugs in front of my kids," adding later, "I'd never done drugs before I had kids." Meanwhile her attitude towards her children is one of tough love: "well, at least have the common decency to be jolly," she tells her teenage daughter who thinks she's fat.

The point at which proceedings become lean and the energy drops coincides with the portion of the show that gets a bit too "industry". In mentioning the recent kerfuffle between Brendon Burns and Richard Herring and The Guardian over racism in comedy she has only a few words of wisdom to offer over what has been dubbed "The G2 summit". Moreover, she relies on the comedy literacy of the audience for the relevance of the routine.

Honest, engaging, sometimes esoteric, sometimes obvious, the question is, can she get better? Yes she can.

To 30 August, not 17 (0131-558 7272)

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