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Edinburgh Fringe 2023

Aude Lener – On Edge

Aude Lener

Genre: Comedic, Comedy, Solo Show

Venue: The Spaces Triplex


Low Down

For her first Fringe the French humourist Aude Lener uses physical theatre and comedy to tell her story in this intimate tale of a mother’s life, anxieties and encounters over the 24hrs before her son’s wedding. 


Aude Lener is not only bringing a show to the Fringe for the first time but is doing it in English rather than her native French. Lener has been an actor and comedian in France for over 20 years and for this first Solo Show, she wanted to feel free to express whatever she wanted, however she wanted. 

It is a surprising show, mixing storytelling and elements of stand up comedy, transforming from one character to another in gestures and facial expressions, without costumes, props or set (beyond the occasional chair). Her character is a woman, an actor, who lives alone with her dog. We join her in the run up to her son’s wedding, the day before as she lives through an ordinary sort of day – with an audition, a mothers group meeting, feeding the dog… all the time resisting calling her son too often and looking forward to the wedding. 

However, in Lener’s very expert hands (and expressive face) these encounters become the stuff of pure comedy. As well as our heroine we meet an exhausted director, an over excited dog, a lecherous admirer and her new daughter-in-law’s mother. The speech of the bride’s mother is particularly expressive, how anyone does that with their lips without the aid of Botox will always be a mystery.   

She makes creative use of the whole stage area, including, on occasions, off stage, backstage and front of house (don’t worry, it isn’t the audience engagement sort). Some sections of the story are very anchored in one spot – her leading the mother’s group is a masterpiece in the rigid passive aggressive; others, trying to catch and hold the dog, travelling to the wedding use every inch of the stage and beyond. Her physicality and movement is carefully crafted and perfectly timed to stretch the realistic just enough to be both believable and  

There is more storytelling and theatre than stand up in this intricately woven and very funny show. Unfortunately, I think that being listed in Comedy and on at 21.40, by which time the focus of many Fringe goers has turned to stand up and bars, has served to hide this gem of comedy. 

Overall, a hidden gem told with tremendous energy, focus and humour. Not to mention the extraordinary range of facial expressions! A different kind of comedy and well worth seeking out.