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REVIEW - Alison Spittle: Soup

Updated: Apr 8

The Hive

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023


Alison Spittle: Soup review

With her new hour of stand-up, Irish comedian Alison Spittle really does talk about her love of soup! As well as her thoughts on treating yourself to little pleasures; and how she refuses to be good with money because, well like many people, she's never had it.

This fun-filled set showcases Alison’s Irish charm and humour. What is it about Irish stand-ups? They're just so charismatic!

Alison has brilliant comic timing and I found her use of pauses particularly effective. She's a talented and playful storyteller. 'Soup' is full of personal stories from her mental health diagnosis, to a mad-cap riot of a hen-do at Butlins.

A lovely, entertaining hour from an accomplished, engaging comedian.



The venue! The Hive Nightclub: Edinburgh

This is no reflection on Alison herself, and did not impact my review or star rating, but I can't not mention the room: The Hive nightclub is never my favourite venue for comedy. The staging, sound and lighting quality are all great - the acts needn't worry about the technical side. The audience also has as clear a view of the comedian as can be expected during the fringe, as the stage is nicely raised. It did always pong a bit, and the seats are always too tightly packed together and at an odd angle. But this year, Hive 1 is so uncomfortably hot as to be distressing. The fan did little to help anyone beyond the front row. Everyone was complaining and miserable. I couldn't wait to leave.

Monkey Barrel are a brilliant Comedy club / promoter and they always try to keep their prices as low, and their shows as accessible, as possible. Most of their shows have a 'Pay what you can' policy. They are inclusive and always have one of the most alternative and interesting line-ups at The Fringe. Their own venues on Blair Street are great... But they need to do something about The Hive if they are going to continue to use that as an offshoot venue for the fringe.

I had planned to go see one of my favourites, Mark Nelson, later in his run, but I honestly don't think I can sit in that scorching environment again. If you are going to see a show at the Hive this year, please consider taking a portable fan and an ice pack.

Alison Spittle: Soup

When and Where?

Venue: Monkey Barrel @ The Hive 1

Time: 1.25pm

Dates: 2nd – 27th August (except 14th)


About Alison Spittle

She is the co-host and co-creator of the award-winning and cult smash hit podcast ‘Wheel of Misfortune’ for BBC Sounds, which she now co-hosts with Kerry Katona (her childhood hero) after her best mate Fern Brady left! She is also a regular co-host on The Guilty Feminist podcast and a writer for ‘Have I Got News For You’.

Creator and star of the television series Nowhere Fast, which aired on RTÉ2, BBC America and Stan Australia to critical acclaim Alison’s first play "Starlet" also premiered to great acclaim, garnering five stars from The Sunday Times.

Her chat show podcast ‘The Alison Spittle Show’ has amassed a huge following with guests such as Sharon Horgan, Adam Hills and David O’Doherty and she performs at podcast festivals across Ireland and the UK. She even has another new podcast ‘Are Findus Crispy Pancakes Feminist?’; an ambitious documentary on the role of Findus Crispy pancakes in the feminist movement of the late 21st century, featuring Kerry Katona.

Alison was a regular contributor to the RTÉ series Republic of Telly where she wrote and performed her own segment ‘A Guide to Mullingar’. She was a team captain on the panel show ‘Choose or Lose’, a correspondent on ‘This is Ireland’ with Des Bishop on RTÉ 2 and also presented television coverage of the music festival Electric Picnic. She wrote and starred in ‘Alison Spittle in Ireland’ a short film produced by Baby Cow Productions for Sky Arts.

Alison’s stand up shows have enjoyed several sold-out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Dublin Fringe Festival, Glasgow Comedy Festival and Machynlleth among others. She has performed at numerous festivals including the Vodafone Comedy Festival at the Iveagh Gardens, Body & Soul, Electric Picnic and Kilkenny Cat Laughs as well as headlining her own sold-out shows at Vicar Street.

10 random facts about Alison:

1 She loves pub quizzes; her quiz team name is "secret cheaters" it really amps up the rivalry.

2 When Alison went on the ‘Off Menu’ podcast, she chose ‘pasta cream bean dream’ as her main course. It's an Ainsley Harriot recipe that includes cooked lettuce and Alison insists “It's a joy”.

3 She loves lidos and has a fear of seaweed.

4 Alison is in a soup sharing WhatsApp group that compares soups.

5 Most of her mugs are of Kim Woodburn or West Bromwich Albion.

6 She fed a parakeet an apple once, it was fun.

7. She once saw Benedict Cumberbatch order an oat milk coffee in a garden centre, that's probably the most famous person she's met.

8 She's obsessed with the BT tower. She just thinks it's great.

9 She once put a battery in her mouth to see what it would feel like, and it shocked her.

10 Her neighbour told her Furbys were invented by the C.I.A. for spying purposes


REVIEW - Alison Spittle: Soup (Comedy, Stand-up, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023)

🎟️ Disclosure: I am an Edinburgh Festival Fringe accredited media reviewer and as such I receive complimentary press tickets in exchange for my honest reviews. My reviews and star ratings are always my honest opinions.

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Lisa in the theatre, Scottish theatre blog, reviews, comedy


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