Comedy review: Leisa Rea at The Camden Head (Camden Fringe)

Stand-up Rea orders pizza for the audience in charming and witty hour

“Leisa Rea tiptoes round the stage like some attention-seeking fairy”, or at least so say the internal critics in Leisa Rea’s head during her Camden Fringe show.

This is a rather harsh self-appraisal of a charming, witty, if a little slapdash hour of comedy.

Most of the time, Rea sits behind a desk on the Camden Head’s tiny stage, directing the action whilst furiously looking through papers and glancing at her laptop.

By her own admission, she cobbled the performance together at the last minute from assorted notes she had lying around her home, and that’s exactly how it comes across – quite anarchic.

There are some really funny bits – a song made up of lyrics typed by her pet dog as it chased snacks across a keyboard was great, and ordering a pizza for the audience is not something I have seen at a stand-up show before.

Some sketches are distinctly less impressive, but she is quicker to point out crap jokes than the audience – promising to cut them out of the show in future.

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There is a heavy audio/visual element – there are some cracking home-made video montages and a surprising tribute to Strangers on a Train – and a bit of music to boot in the form of comedy ditties, as well as Rea arguing with the voices inside her head, which was done with excellent timing.

As should be clear, there is a lot going on and it is a bit of a mixed bag. But by the time she does a Top of the Pops-style Top 20 countdown of the sketches at the end of the show, you realise how much good material you have seen – especially for less than a tenner.

* Leisa Rea was at The Camden Head in Camden High Street, NW1, on Friday, August 24