Early afternoon is not the usual time of day to go and see stand-up: the bell tolls the comedic witching hour usually much, much later. However, not only is daylight clearly in evidence here at one of The Stand’s smaller venues, but it is obvious that everyone is completely sober, even the crew.
Eleanor Morton, however, is not your archetypal stand-up, and is able to venture forth into the light without instantly turning into dust. Her show this year is in many ways different from her Fringe debut last year, the latter structured around a more personal central strand concerning anxiety and awkwardness. This year, her comedy concentrates on the uncanny, building her slightly surreal, left-field world, layer by layer. This world sits comfortably just to the side of the usual one, but has a slightly different and very witty logic to it. There isn’t a ukulele in sight.
Her material is clever, well written and well structured, with multiple recurring elements holding the comedy together. All of it is very enjoyable, and some of it is very funny indeed. Morton’s demonstration of her physic powers, which allow her to channel pets that have passed away (between five to ten years ago—inclusive), is very, very good.
However, there is something about the structure of her delivery, rather than the structure of the material or the show as a whole, that does not quite hit the mark. Although individual episodes often work really well, the overarching pacing is not always right. Doubtless this will tighten up further on into the run.
An hour with Morton in pleasantly spent—it is impossible not to like her—and her comedy is intelligent and well honed. By the end of the show, she has managed to brainwash the audience so well with her logic, that her slideshow finale seems unbearably cute and sweet, despite our having a sneaking suspicion that it really ought not to be.