Maria Bamford: Plan B, Assembly Rooms <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fivestar -->

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The Independent Culture

Those coming to Plan B expecting Maria Bamford's stand-up are warned at the start to be disappointed: it's described as a sitcom from inside her own head. Yet the one-woman show is no less enjoyable and contains many of the types of lines and impressions fans of her work will be familiar with.

The background story is that Bamford has returned to live with her family for a while for some career convalescence. Though Plan B has a botched ending, by the time it has been reached the 35-year-old comic has brought her relatives to life, each with a distinct personality and a cracking sense of humour, almost independent of their creator. Most notably there is Bamford's wily mother Marilyn, who politely says what she is thinking: "Honey, we love you but you're not welcome at home."

Her portrayal of Christy, her high-school nemesis, is crucial to understanding Bamford. "You're not funny, you're just weird," accuses Christy, echoing the accusation that Bamford's detractors level at her all the time and the thought that was going through the mind of the heckler in Detroit who precipitated Bamford's retreat home. Certainly Bamford is a little kooky, but without the sinister overtones of Emo Philips who she is a little reminiscent of, and probably less fluffy than Rita Rudner who is among the American female comedy greats she resembles.

To 28 August, except 21 (0131-226 2428)

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