“It was just a throwaway line!
I used it because there was a close mate in the audience who was vegan – it got a good reaction, so I kept it in the show.”
The young Australian comedienne’s referring to one tiny gag (“Some of my best friends are vegan. They were going to come today but they didn’t have the energy to climb up the stairs“) in Bec Hill Didn’t Want To Play Your Stupid Game Anyway, her one-woman show at the Gilded Balloon.
It was – perhaps a litle unfairly – singled out as one of the ‘worst jokes of the Fringe’ in a recent competition run by Dave TV.
“It’s actually been good publicity,” Bec says. “When I hand out flyers now, I give people a guarantee that there’s actually much worse jokes than that in the show!”
Of course, she’s being modest. Her show – based on the things she doesn’t like about being a grown-up – is gaining great reviews from the industry and public alike.
“I think it’s important to have a theme to your show. Apparently, laughter affects your short-term memory, so hanging the jokes around a central idea helps people remember them! And people feel they’ve come away with something after it.”
This is Bec’s second solo visit to Edinburgh – last year she performed another themed show based on superheroes.
“It was a great learning experience,” she says. “It went well, and I got some really valuable critique which helped shape this year’s.”
“And I’ve had several people come along this year because they enjoyed the last one.”
Bec first started performing comedy back home in Australia when she was 18. She took a year out and entered the Raw Comedy competition, reaching the national finals.
One of the judges – Justin Hamilton – saw her potential and took Bec under his wing, helping her shape her comedy and influencing her material.
Now based in London, she is hoping to persue comedy full-time.
“There’s no grand plan,” she says. “I’m going to see where things are this time next year. But I’ll be gigging in London and playing the Adelaide & Melbourne festivals next year.”
“Edinburgh’s a great place to showcase your work – I’ve had quite a lot of interest this year.”
“It’s also a fantastic place to catch-up with people you’ve not seen for a while too. I’ve really enjoyed this year’s Fringe.”
Bec’s show features her child-like onstage persona and some of her unique and cleverly-designed flipchart work (“paper puppetry”, as she calls it).
“The onstage me is like an exaggerated version of myself,” she says. “I play up the elements that people seem to like – though I do slip in a bit of darker material to counter some of the cuteness!”
And her paper-based comedy is also creating a bit of a buzz, particularly her “rejected tampon ad”…
“It’s actually based on a real piece I was asked to do by a tampon company,” she says. “They showed me some of their concepts and the jokes were pretty terrible.”
“So I thought I’d try and come up with something a bit different and silly. The company loved it, though it didn’t get used in the end.”
“But the video for it just popped up on Reddit, so it seems to be going a bit viral!”
Bec seems to have that cultish quality that gets her comedy noticed – the sort of thing that people see then pass on to their friends. So, whether she ends up as a successful full-time comic or – as some reviews have suggested – a kids’ TV presenter, the remaining dates of her show give you what might be your last chance to see her up close and personal – ‘bad’ jokes and all.
Bec’s show is on til the 30th August – further details are available on the Gilded Balloon website.