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Edinburgh Fringe 2023


Emily Fury Daly

Genre: Comedy, Interactive, One Person Show, Physical Comedy, Solo Show, Stand-Up, Storytelling

Venue: Greenside


Low Down

Furious is a succession of stories – vivid in their place within Emily Fury Daly’s past, present and future. The retelling of personal truth is brave, raw and commendable as Daly takes you on a trip down memory lane. Her lane. Her memories from growing up in America, “It’s been living in me for a long time.” Daly has a lovely way with her audience, engaging with us at every turn in the story. You may be in a black box studio – but Daly will not allow you to not go on a journey with her; acknowledging through light humour her tales of childhood, the self-awareness of feeling different and family connection through strong female figures in her life and some characters that she would perhaps want to forget.


“It’s 100% from me. Every night is a little bit different!”


Remaining shows: 21st-26th August


Venue: Greenside @Infirmatory Street (Sprout Studio)



Daly’s show is truly delightful, and flip reverses how we should approach challenging situations and the trauma inflicted deep within us – through the eyes of comedy. I was not surprised to learn that Daly is a stand-up comedian in New York, she definitely knows how to command a crowd which is evident in her reviews – the Pied Piper charming Edinburgh masses to her show –  Literally! As the audience enter this intimate setting, we soon feel at ease. Daley is both warm and natural when working with a crowd and knows how to make her audience feel simply part of the furniture. Before the one woman show begins you’re given a programme, but this isn’t any ordinary programme, more sarcastic references to someone’s midlife crisis – which is a stroke of genius for reference points and her comedic timing throughout the show.

As we arrive into the flashback of Daley’s childhood, we’re asked to imagine the world she paints – which is somewhat tangible. Audience interaction and simplistic props allows us to engage within her story. An unassuming audience member was quickly selected to be on standby if Daley faints to ‘continue the show’, will this role be fulfilled? Guess you will have to find out!

Amongst the story was several moments of utter hilarity – Daly’s childhood education, with particular reference to her hatred towards mathematics. Personally, this was a moment that completely engaged me (never being a maths wiz kid myself) – we all have empathy and knowledge at this point that Daly is a creative person, bored with her education and is clearly not being challenged or acknowledged for when she does try. Matters are made worse when Daly is placed in a room full of children who were simply there to be ‘babysat’ and not to learn. It soon dawns on the audience that Daley was placed in ‘special education’ as a child, a phrasing which only brought and still does bring stigma and negative connotations. What’s genius is how Daley finds the humour in this space, the space of a child who has been segregated from the ‘elite’ – simply horrifying,  but Daley used her imagination to get her through these experiences. You ponder for a moment the intentions of her school but also, the shifty/highly disturbing Mr Doobies. Daly’s internal showdown with this character is a beautiful/shocking moment that reminded me of Ally McBeal; reenacting her internalised thoughts, rather than playing them out in reality. Mr Doobie would not be winning any teacher of the year award; how Daley built her resentment towards this character demonstrated her dexterity with comedic timing. This moment was empowering and evoked a will in the audience to allow her the space to ‘want’ more from her education and ultimately to want more from the teacher who she entrusted to care for her.

Many moments stand out in this 45 minutes of entertainment – Another being, when Daley physicalises the characters, using tobacco to create her fully formed gangster, with the slight bounce and animated gestures. Without raising the eye of too many spoilers, this Mafia character definitely presented a welcomed change of pace – the vocal and physical transformation, interspersed with audience participation was a lovely treat, allowing a moment of stillness! In places, it would be great to see the female roles within the show differentiated more so with physical ideas to support with the story-telling and fast paced nature of the show – to allow the audience time to take in the new characters as they morphed into new time periods/people. There is material within these ‘Fury characters’, so it would be great to know more about her Italian heritage, which is touched upon in the show.

This 45 minutes of theatrical comedy is a beautiful slice of Daley’s life and the people she chooses to bring back into the moment – with you – her audience. The play touches on her chosen sobriety, a true and tender celebration of the previous young woman verses her current vibrant self. This was a moving moment, captured in a brief broken song – summarising that underneath the performer is a human being, who has overcome significant challenges and what a perfect way to celebrate her accomplishments than sticking her middle finger up to the people who let her down and the darker times she experienced. Congratulations to Daley – thank you for bringing your work to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.