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Review: Bronwyn Sweeney: Off-Brand at Pleasance Courtyard - Ed Fringe

Review by Carly Fisher

Bronwyn Sweeney has left the corporate world of advertising and run away with those of us in the circus we call show biz and now offers a clever hour of stand up comedy influenced by her days in branding.

Nestled in the intimate (and surprisingly comfortable) Bunker Three at Pleasance Courtyard, Sweeney's Edinburgh Fringe Show, titled ‘Off-Brand’ showcases first and foremost how well versed this comedian is in the way of crowd work. Brown Sauce (as she calls herself often!) works the room!! Throughout much of the show you feel as though you are in a personal conversation with Sweeney rather than at a comedy hour and as such, feel instantly invested her success.

What I appreciated most was the clear structure to this show. More than just an hour of jokes lined together, this was a well crafted piece with a clear consideration of narrative drive that was built around the 4 principles of branding. It is rare that a comedian is so upfront about the structure of their piece but Sweeney puts all on show, even utilising a very high tech butcher’s pad with sharpie drawings to walk you through this ‘presentation.’ I love this prop - it feels silly and well placed simultaneously. This is a no frills show and that’s exactly what I wanted heading in.

Most of the content is SO relatable and the fact that I went on a day where the audience interaction was incredibly involved and responsive totally made the show for me. I think that Sweeney could grow more as a comedian by relying on the fact that she is funny without the need to spend so much time on topics such as masterbating and vibrators - definitely funny at some times but it probably came up a bit too much and as such, cheapened the cleverness of much of the rest of the show.

But that one critique aside, Sweeney is an excellent storyteller who shares her unique life experiences in ways that make you feel as though you’ve lived the same moments…even if you haven’t. She cleverly plays on a sense of nostalgia for things that you don’t really ever thing about…like the thong song…that thong thong thong thong (admit it, you sang that!)

Sweeney is exceptionally open throughout this hour and really gives audiences a good run down on her life and what it was like to grow up in so many places that even your accent has changed from that of your home town.

Overall, Sweeney is a comic that I would absolutely go and see again - I’m looking forward to the next show already. Sweeney has been one of my favourite comedians seen so far at the Edinburgh Fringe - mainly because of her excellent ability to work the crowd…and to make you think about things for days after the show…like, for example, should we all have funeral playlists?

Image Supplied


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