Diane Spencer: All-Pervading Madness, Gilded Balloon

Julian Hall
Monday 15 August 2011 00:00 BST

Owning a putty mouth in which it looks like butter wouldn't melt, Diane Spencer came to wider attention when she won this year's Chortle newcomer award.

The accolade from the influential comedy website made her transition from the comedy circuit in New Zealand, where she found herself after completing a drama degree in the UK, complete.

Unfortunately, anyone steered towards the slender Spencer's second Fringe foray will find themselves enduring an unsatisfying hour of contrived and theatrical comedy posturing, albeit with some flashes of promise.

The various unsavoury tales that make up this hour are held together by a stretched background story that recounts a journey on public transport after a gig and a bodily mishap that has left her with blood down her front. The tales in between feature the exploits of her unsightly mole hair, her resourcefulness during an internet date (involving foodstuff abuse) and musings on whether zombies can be stopped by sex toys.

"British Transport Police: like normal police with stabilisers," she says, recounting an incident during her main story. It shows that when not being smutty she can be cute and coy, if occasionally ineffective.

"Everything I tell you is true," she tells us and yet, somehow, none of what Spencer relays has the slightest ring of authenticity about it.

To 28 August (0131 622 6552)

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