Alison Spittle

Alison Spittle: Soup review | Comfort food for stand-up souls

★★★☆☆ Alison Spittle’s 2023 hour proves as warm and comforting as a bowl of chicken and noodles – just without the spice.


Alison Spittle’s 2023 hour proves as warm and comforting as a bowl of chicken and noodles – just without the spice. Here’s our Soup review.

Walking onto Hive’s inexplicably sweaty main stage with a flask of tea and a mic stand wrapped in a bunch of flowers, Irish stand-up Alison Spittle pretty effectively sets the tone for a gently sparkling hour of rock-solid stand-up.

If the choice of beverage didn’t give it away, Soup is a determinedly un-rowdy show – the kind of thing one expects is far easier to sell at 13:25 in Edinburgh than almost anywhere else. A particularly vivid description of exactly the worst kind of worms aside, probably the most shocking part of Spittle’s latest show is the temperature of her Earl Grey (scalding, apparently).

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And just like her tea, to completely mangle the hot liquid metaphors, the resulting gig feels both deeply refreshing and thoroughly lovely, even as it never quite adds anything too groundbreaking into the mix.


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Soup might not have the eccentric gag rate of other hours, but what it sometimes lacks in punchlines, it more than makes up for with Spittle’s easygoing charm. Putting the audience at ease with a spot of gentle ribbing and a generally nice vibe, the show is less laugh-a-minute and more a warm and fuzzy feeling completely divorced from Hive’s tropical climate and slightly mouldy smell.

There’s every chance, then, that one could leave Soup feeling a little disappointed. For anyone expecting the funniest hour at the Fringe this year, Spittle’s charming brand of storytelling might not be quite your cup of tea. But charming delivery and a determination to give everyone a good time can go a long way. Soup is less a cutting incision into modern life and more a big warm hug. For a slight change of pace amid the frenetic energy of the Edinburgh Fringe, it’s just what the doctor ordered.

Alison Spittle: Soup is playing at Monkey Barrel – Hive at 13:25 until 27 August. Check out the rest of our Edinburgh Festival Fringe coverage here.

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