Thor and Freya: Norse as F*ck – Venue 85: Laughing Horse @ City Cafe – Nineties – 9.55pm
SUDDENLY, I feel very old. Not only because I’m about to qualify to do stand-up at “Ageing Folks Telling Jokes: The Best Comics over 40” (Ageing? Forty!) but because I’ve glimpsed the future – and that future is the young and talented Thor Stenhaug and Freya Mallard.
Buried beneath The City Café in the Old Town, Thor and Freya are packing two dozen people into a karaoke booth for an hour of jokes each night during the Free Fringe. Their talent more than fills the room, and these two rising stars deserve a much bigger audience for their gags.
Forget any suggestions of gimmicky cashing-in on the popularity of Thor in the Marvel comic book films or Netflix’s Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, with its weird transportation of the Hydro from Glasgae to Embra. Instead, this is good, solid, off-fashioned stand-up, delivered by a pair of young comedians on their way up.
“He’s the Norse and I’m the f*ck,” joked Mallard towards the start of her set, which opened the gig. “And, let’s face it, who doesn’t like a f*ck?”
Her smile and energy were infectious, telling stories and doling out punch lines with Charlotte Ritchie-like controlled delivery. Her material ranged from her love life through to television shows, including playing a Love Island game with couples in the crowd to warm up the audience.
In contrast, Stenhaug’s set came across as more structured; hailing from Norway opened up more “outsider”-type observational comedy, contrasting life in the UK with life back home. As a consequence, his jokes flowed better and the laughter built and built among the end-of-week-one crowd – on a different night and with, dare I say, a more rowdy audience, it could well have been Mallard’s set that sparked more giggles.
Their language is in-keeping with the late-night slot and the asterix in the show’s title – blue enough to shock their grandparents, but probably not their parents. Mallard’s filthy mash-up of TV shows was the best sequence of the night, while Stenhaug’s Scouse impression was flawless.
This is exactly what the Fringe is all about – two rising stars delivering an hour of late-night laughs in a pay-what-you-want setting. Catch them before comedy panel shows beckon.
Get the full details about the show here.
Plus, read more reviews on Scottish Field’s Fringe pages.