Review: Tatty Macleod: Fugue

A cross-cultural Fringe debut with pointedly sharp observations

comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Tatty Macleod
Photo by Rachel Sherlock
Published 15 Aug 2023

Tatty Macleod hasn’t been doing comedy all that long. She only got started on TikTok during the pandemic as a kind of breakup therapy but you’d never know she was a newbie to live performance. With much charisma and wit, her Fringe debut zips along with all the zest and confidence of a stand-up veteran. 

The schtick that has amassed Macleod a huge online following is simple: playing up the differences between French and English people, usually at the expense of the latter. It’s hardly an original concept but Macleod balances her stereotypes with pointed observations. Perhaps the reason these cross-cultural musings are so sharp is that she’s been on the receiving end of them. Macleod explains that she grew up in rural Brittany after her mother moved there on a whim. She quickly soaked up the language and culture but to the locals, she was always ‘anglaise’. But when she moved back to England as a teen, her classmates dubbed her ‘the frog’. 

Macleod could have probably satisfied her considerable following by simply stringing her online skits together, but what begins as a show of Al Murray-esque cliches becomes increasingly spiky, asking questions about what defines us as people. Is it the accident of our birthplace or does culture and memory trump imaginary borders? This is a show that should speak to anyone who finds themselves between nations, with their life dictated to them by shifting immigration policies and the paperwork in their possession. Also, let’s have more comedians follow Macleod’s example and end their sets with tender renditions of melancholic French ballads.