Monday, July 22

Gaslighting is my Love Language – Just The Tonic at The Grassmarket Centre

Fielding Edlow’s Gaslighting is my Love Language is a brutally honest, unapologetically explicit, and immensely entertaining hour of comedy. The premise is simple; Edlow has recently divorced her husband of thirteen years and wants to share her new perspective on the marriage with the audience. What results is akin to a farcical therapy session, where the audience plays the role of the therapist. While they don’t often get involved, with one notable exception you’ll have to discover for yourself, Edlow regales them with the ups and downs of the marriage, pinpointing exactly where it all went wrong. Spoiler alert, it was when they first met.

While most comedians bring in elements of truth to their performances, Edlow takes it to a whole new level. She makes a point of informing the audience that she hasn’t changed a single name and has absolutely no reservations about discussing her and her “wasbund’s” sex life in graphic detail. If you tend to prefer a slightly more conservative approach to humour, this may not be the show for you. Personally, I thought the honesty was refreshing, and Edlow delivers the ‘cruder’ punchlines with such impeccable timing and charisma that you can’t help but laugh, even if it’s in shock.

What separates this from many other one-act comedy shows, however, is Edlow’s ability to explain the seriousness of gaslighting within a marriage, without losing her smile. As I left, I truly felt like I understood why this marriage had failed, and why it had such a negative impact on her mental health. As a result, the ending of the show is very moving, as she reveals she can finally relax.  I walked away simultaneously laughing at the memory of her most outrageous gags and empathising with a woman who had been manipulated by her husband into questioning her self-worth.

Perhaps my one criticism would be that her stories occasionally don’t flow smoothly into one-another. While I’m never going to expect a linear narrative in a stand-up show, there were some slightly jarring switches between two anecdotes with no obvious connection. A little structure may have rectified this and meant the show ran more fluidly.

This is a very minor gripe though, and absolutely did not detract from my enjoyment. Edlow is engaging, hilarious and heartfelt throughout. If you have a spare hour, this is certainly worth checking out.

Playing at 19:10 until 13th August,

Reviewer: Ben Pearson

Reviewed: 3rd August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.