(More) Moira Monologues
★★★★★

IF you’re looking for something that’ll make you laugh so hard your face hurts, it’s not always necessary to go to the clamour of the Pleasance Courtyard or one of the Gilded Balloon’s venues. At the Storytelling Centre on the Royal Mile is a show that’s such a riot, my ears popped a couple of times from the row behind me actually shouting with laughter.

Returning to the Fringe eight years since she made her debut is Alan Bissett’s Moira, cleaner, chain-smoker and “the hardest woman in Falkirk”. Inspired by stories told by the women in his large working class family, playwright and author Bissett admits she’s perhaps his most popular creation. A series of related monologues bound by a larger whole, this uproarious, clever and affectionate show pricks pomposity and stereotypes of working class women and is never predictable.

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If you think you have her pegged, think again. Touching on immigration, online dating, the Kelpies and Scottish independence, these stories reveal her as resilient and unexpectedly moral. With excellent one-liners, call-backs and malapropisms, Bissett’s writing is a joy; his performance so entertaining you can barely keep up. He may prefer to write but he’s a natural comedy actor who can bring a complex conversation alive with a hand gesture or look. When Moira meets old flame Billy in a house she’s cleaning, Billy’s expression is nothing short of comedy gold.

Now a gran at the age of 46, Moira has ditched the skinny jeans for jogging bottoms, just as long as she can keep her bottle of vodka to hand. And her return is the tonic that sets a spinning world somehow back on its axis.

Until Aug 28 (not 21), Scottish Storytelling Centre, 7pm, £15, £12 concs. Tel: 0131 226 0000. www.edfringe.com