REVIEW: Edinburgh Fringe – Rachel Stubbings is Stubbing Out Problems, Underbelly

 

Writer: Rachel Stubbings

Director: Brett Goldstein

The Public Reviews Rating: ★★★½☆

This review was originally written for and published by The Public Reviews

With advice like: “Feel the fear and do it anyway”, to a man contemplating suicide and the unwitting recommendation of the use of Rohypnol to a guy who can’t get a girlfriend you can see exactly the calibre of advice that self-professed “gifted healer” Rachel Stubbings is doling out in her new show Rachel Stubbings is Stubbing Out Problems.

In Rachel’s own opinion she’s a world-class agony aunt, hell-bent on helping people less fortunate than herself (that’s everyone). Having prevented her parents’ divorce and loads of other “stuff” she’s sure she has a gift, and buoyed by this success she’s come to Edinburgh to “heal live” and share how “awesome and selfless” she is.

The queue is handed a flyer while waiting and those brave enough gamely write down any problems they want “stubbed out” and put them in the “Stub-bin” at the start of the show. The delivery is the same arrogant dead-pan that anyone who liked The Office will enjoy but in some ways there could be more bite to her perils of wisdom. Stubbings utilises Skype, video material and audience interaction throughout the show but there were some problems keeping the whole thing flowing. There were some uncomfortable silences and the audience was on the whole, pretty unresponsive. The time slot could be partially to blame, mid-afternoon whereas the material is more late night.

This would be an ideal half-hour radio or TV show, at an hour it’s a tad too long for the content. That said Stubbings is quirky and quick witted and succeeds in never making the audience feel uncomfortable, turning the harshest focus back onto herself. She starts out confident she can heal the world but instead ends up healing herself. A promising Fringe debut.

Runs until 27th August

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