@ Gilded Balloon, Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh, until Sun 30 Aug 2015 @ 17:15

Spending an hour in the company of Lucy Frederick is like catching up with a best friend whom you’ve never previously met. There is something just infinitely comforting about her very presence; like nothing bad could possibly happen as long as she is on the room. The Pleasance Dome could burn down round our ears only for a burly fireman to later opine, as he knuckles smoky tears from his eyes, that we were lucky we had a Lucy Frederick to shield us from the worst.

She admits herself that she has a school ma’amish air about her, and there is a disconcerting sense of being winked at by a lascivious ex-St Trinian through the entire hour. She’s like all the best Carry-On characters rolled into one; an earthy Joan Sims smoulder, a Charles Hawtrey “Hello” and that Sid James laugh like a choked gutter.  Quite frankly, she’s pretty adorable.

The theme of her show, animals, lends itself to gentle material, and this is not the most incisive, satirical or confrontational show at the Fringe by any stretch of the imagination. Explicit material is included, but coded euphemism is the order of the day, which ironically forces the imagination to places it wouldn’t go under more blunt instruction. A tale of a Tinder escapade is an undoubted highlight (and also works as a subtle highlighting of the juxtaposition between animal and human mating rituals), and casually subverts the comedy norm in presenting a sexual encounter gone right; for the most part.

This is comedy to warm the cockles. It’s warm, a little fuzzy, and safe as houses. If you’re after an edge, look elsewhere; but Frederick’s utterly charming animal odyssey is the comedy equivalent of a welcome hug at the end of a hard day, with added slightly molest-y dolphins.