NextUp Review: Holly Burn – The Best Of The Burn

For those not in the know, NextUp is a British streaming site that has some of the best stand up comedy shows yet recorded. Among the comedians that can be found on the site are Tony Law, Danielle Ward, Kiri Pritchard-McClean, Simon Munnery, Richard Herring, Laura Lexx, Phil Nichol, Fern Brady, Michael Legge, Lou Sanders, Jordan Brookes, Miles Jupp, Sean Hughes, oh and some bloke called Bill Hicks who we vaguely remember as being quite good.

Mini-reviews of some of the shows can be found here, but now we’ve splashed out and bought a full membership (for the bargain price of £4.99 a month) so that we can review more of their material. And because we’re paying for it and NextUp haven’t given us a free membership we can be completely honest about each and every show. But we are also open to selling out and only publishing positive ones, so NextUp, if you’re reading this please feel free to get in touch!

Fortunately Holly Burn’s set deserves acclaim, and so we start this new section on the site on a high note. Holly started doing stand up in 2007 and this recording is a best of set from her time performing over the years. It starts with Holly chatting to the audience (and briefly in filmed sequences to us viewers on NextUp) and clowning around, and it’s funny stuff and endeared me to her instantly. She’s confident from the outset, explaining that it’s a best of set and promising all of her best characters, and one really, really bad one. She uses her impressive physicality to command the stage, and has more energy than thirty Lee Evans stapled together.

Her first character is Jason the very rich tiger, who comes complete with his own theme tune which includes the lyrics “Not as rich as Sir James Dyson but richer than all of you”, and it’s deliriously silly stuff, even managing to include some really funny Brexit material that didn’t make me want to sob at the fact that the public voted for such a thing. Then there’s Dangerous Dawn (“I got my boobs done, and I got them done on group-on”) who operates heavy machinery on prescription medication and stares at the sun through binoculars. It’s lovely stuff, and packed with laughs throughout. The next character, The Rabbit of Regret, is more low key to give the audience a chance to recover, but still equally as amusing, and it’s followed by a woman in Italy who eats nectarine’s whilst riding a motorbike naked, in a segment which is packed with superb lines. George Foreman the Geordie Foreman follows, a builder who demands “No one gets there winky out on my site. If you got your winkie out pop it back in” before threatening to tie it to a kite and flying it to France. So yeah, this is blood great stuff too.

We’re only halfway through at this point when Holly introduces Miss Barbarap (it has a silent p) and discover she won the name in a craps game, but lost her bi-plane in the same game. And it’s truly awful. Except that it’s not, that’s a complete lie but I thought you might be getting bored by all this praise at this point. But there’s not a bad character in the show (despite what Holly said at the beginning) and this is another great one. And I could carry on describing the show but I won’t spoil any of the rest, or how it all comes to a close, you’ll just have to trust me that it’s superb stuff.

It’s a show where when you’re not laughing out loud you’ll be grinning constantly, and you’ll witness things here that you won’t see anywhere else. Burn has an amazing way with words and is a superb actress, inhabiting a wide variety of characters with ease. This show has instantly elevated Burn in to my list of favourite comedians, and she’s one who I plan to see live soon, and as often as possible too.

Alex Finch.

Related Links:
Holly’s Official Site.
Holly at the Union Chapel on Youtube.

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