“I am an insult to eroticism,” says Jay Lafferty, offering a hefty hint that this show will end up going in a very different direction to her previous Edinburgh hours. Plus the pole onstage is a big giveaway. Or is it a tall, shiny red herring?
Bahookie is one of several shows mixing comedy and pole-dancing this year – one of those sentences that would sound weird anywhere but the Fringe – but Lafferty is very much in the recent-convert camp. This show is “about joy,” she says; how to spread a little more of it around. And one big happiness-destroyer is a bad body image, which is really the major matter under discussion here.
Such issues are why the comic started taking pole classes, after turning 40 and seeing it wow at cabaret clubs, and her clumsy beginnings are a rich source of material. The stand-out story though – still on that body-conscious theme – is of Lafferty losing her virginity, a mighty boat-based odyssey that you feel sure this Fringe favourite must have used before. It is absolute dynamite, but then this whole hour is as tight as a gymnast’s leotard.
A consummate comic, Lafferty has absolutely nailed how to put together a stand-up hour, seamlessly weaving a solid message around consistently sound gags; you can't fault her balance there. And the ending? Do give it a whirl and see for yourself.