Review: Freya Parker: It Ain't Easy Being Cheeky

A sardonic and cheeky debut from one half of Lazy Susan

comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 13 Aug 2023
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Freya Parker

About halfway through Freya Parker’s Saturday evening set a fighter jet – or a bizarrely noisy regular one – thunders overhead. Our rudely-interrupted comic barely raises an eyebrow. “Sonic boom,” she says, quietly. “Spent most of the budget on that.”

Whether by design or just natural drollery, there’s a pleasingly deadpan air to Parker’s stand-up. Best known at the Fringe as one half of the sketch duo Lazy Susan – that CV is also enlivened by a small role in last year’s action blockbuster Jurassic World: Dominion – her solo debut delves into a topic that wouldn’t seem an obvious fit. Cheekiness.  

Parker is launching a quasi-cult here; a self-help group for the slightly naughty. In reality that's a half-decent device to trawl through some past behaviour and get us to OK it. Or not. The telephoned death threat? Definitely dodgy. But then working out what’s cheeky or not is also a handy way to call out behaviour that definitely isn’t, like an unsolicited workplace pat. Bumcheeky is never good.

Weirdly, the biggest laughs come when Parker gets to the nitty gritty and a big family tragedy that may have shaped that sardonic nature, but then she does defuse the heaviness with fake clown-nose honks and the occasional sardonic “LOL”, to flag up the general awkwardness. 

That’s the tone throughout, really. A refreshingly wry aside from all the noise elsewhere.