chloe radcliffe edinburgh fringe

Chloe Radcliffe: Cheat review | Breaking taboos and making names

★★★☆☆ Monogamy and relationship ethics go under the microscope in Chloe Radcliffe's intriguing Edinburgh Fringe debut.

★★★☆☆

Monogamy and relationship ethics are under the microscope in Chloe Radcliffe’s intriguing Edinburgh Fringe debut.


American stand-up comic Chloe Radcliffe tells us, at the outset of a very personal hour, how she has cheated in all but one relationship she’s ever had.

In true Hannah Gadsby style, it’s an admission which tends to create a bit of tension – though one which seems to have come as a surprise to more of the audience than you’d expect when the billing says Cheat in big letters.


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It’s no small feat that an admission like that can lead into an hour of pretty engrossing stand-up. As annoying as it is to make generalised statements like ‘comedy is about breaking taboos,’ cheating is certainly a big old cultural taboo – and boy, does Radcliffe break it.

In a no-holds-barred show covering everything from fed-ex sex to the erotic allure of a good knee, Radcliffe brings a hefty dose of charm to a story which ranks among one of the more interesting stand-up narratives of this year’s Fringe.

As is the risk taken by putting the story centre-stage, Radcliffe sometimes struggles to juggle the tonal jumps between funny, outlandish tales and ‘the serious bits.’ The balance, particularly in the second half, feels slightly off, and the perfectly well-written one-liners aren’t always enough to completely diffuse the tension from the personal psychoanalysis dominating the last twenty minutes.


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Still, Cheat is an entertaining and engrossing hour on a refreshing topic to hear people discuss openly. As Radcliffe says in the show, cheating is a little bit like a drug – and Cheat similarly leaves you wanting more.


Chloe Radcliffe: Cheat runs from 4-27 August in The Pleasance Courtyard Bunker Three at 19:15. Check out the rest of our Edinburgh Festival Fringe coverage here.


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