@ Laughing Horse @ The White Horse, Edinburgh, until Sun 30 Aug 2015 @ 00:15

Kirsten MacGregor is jaded well before her time.  She’s also headstrong enough to overcome what she calls her complete lack of social skills, in order to stand on stage during a graveyard slot at the Fringe and attempt to make a room full of strangers laugh.

For a slight 18 year-old performing a debut full-length show, there are no outward signs of awkwardness. Indeed, despite suffering from Asperger’s, a condition she draws on extensively for material, she is very quick to get the sizable crowd onside with a barrage of world-weary observations and anecdotes.

Sadly, despite obvious talent and a good half a dozen instances where her self-effacing misanthropy milks genuine belly laughs from the audience, there is something lacking. Variety, perhaps. They say one should talk about what one knows, but MacGregor could benefit from a wider range of subject material than she currently utilises. Also, the show is very one-paced. The tone of her voice never changes, and her delivery is at a constant machine gun level so there is never a sense of build up to any of the jokes. Undoubtedly, with time and experience she will incorporate more ebb and flow into the act, and make it an altogether more dynamic show.

In MacGregor’s favour is an innate likeability, and an appreciation of the absurdity of existence that tends to come with being an outsider. She comes across as merely endearingly grumpy rather than bratty, and one could sense in the crowd a real feeling of goodwill towards her. It’s a real pity there isn’t a little more substance there, but her potential is evident and she seems to have the courage and the tenacity to succeed.  She’s certainly picked the best possible way to cut her teeth.