With time to kill at the Pleasance, I thought I’d check out Isy Suttie, best known as the endearingly nerdy Dobby from Peep Show, and I’m mightily glad that I did.
Although she’s been doing solo shows (to great acclaim) for a few years, this is the first time I’ve seen her, and in the absence of Daniel Kitson at this year’s Fringe I can honestly say that this, for me, filled the gap - and there can be no higher praise than that.
Suttie recounts a moving love story involving a socially awkward childhood neighbour (her first pen pal) and a 'well-bred' girl from Surrey – the titular Pearl and Dave. She interweaves the narrative with her own tales of failed relationships, internet dating and eventual happiness, much of which is told through song.
There are more than a few shades of Victoria Wood as Suttie adopts regional accents and strums folk-ish songs with chatty, almost poetic lyrics (it’s no wonder she’s a Tom Waits fan) to raise both laughs and a profound sense of joy in the human spirit.
As the story of Pearl and Dave reached its desperately poignant conclusion, I unexpectedly found tears flowing down my cheeks, and I would wager that you will too. Take hankies is the best advice I can give you for this one – it’s Brief Encounter for the internet age.