Stevie Martin – actor, writer, comedian and co-host of acclaimed podcast Nobody Panic – returns to the Edinburgh Fringe with her second solo sketch and character comedy hour, Hot Content. Martin draws on her experiences as a clickbait-hungry online journalist and ponders why sometimes the content we give away for free on social media can make a bigger impact than the paid work we toil over.
The show is an audio-visual delight, filled with props and sight gags to keep the audience guessing. Martin opens the set with a convoluted sketch setting up a ‘candid’ beach video for Instagram, complete with ring light, members of the audience and multiple props. It’s a funny sketch which showcases the ridiculous lengths some people go to make online content more visually arresting. The audience are even asked to compose a tweet praising the show before the hour starts in a bid give the show online buzz, although the Underbelly Portakabin doesn’t allow for mobile reception, so the gag doesn’t really fly.
Martin is an engaging and friendly performer, with a natural flair for clowning that is somewhat limited by the small space in this particular venue. You can’t help but wonder what she would be capable of on a bigger stage with more room to manoeuvre. The material is consistently funny but sometimes the delivery is a little chaotic and Martin has to call out for her next line a few times, which may be down to nerves or just not being fully versed in the material so early in the run.
Hot Content is a fun way to pass the hour, with some hearty belly laughs and cute animal content which is just lacking just a little bit of finesse to take it from good to great.