Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

Review: Desiree Burch – Desiree’s Coming Early! at Heroes @ The Hive

Review: Desiree Burch – Desiree’s Coming Early! at Heroes @ The Hive
5★★★★★

That is a fact. This is a story.” 

And with this strongest of openers, the tone is set for a creative masterpiece of epic proportions. This is the latest offering from Desiree Burch, a comedian and storyteller exuding vast quantities of that rare multi-purpose quality of immense comedic ability, coupled with thought-provoking political vision. It is a creative masterclass for anyone trying to produce stand-up comedy that is both downright hilarious and genuinely profound.

Desiree’s particular style of storytelling is fast-paced, animated, and vibrant, and is itself enough to keep us thoroughly entertained throughout, as we follow Desiree on a trip at the infamous Burning Man festival. It’s peppered generously with piercing observations, hilarious one-liners, and purposeful tangents, all of which add in their own ways to the overall direction of travel.

But what makes this show truly special is the powerful political argument at its heart, which is about how we can, slowly but surely, overcome even the most deeply ingrained and most destructive systems of oppression, namely racism. It is about how even the most powerful stories can be re-written, by not participating in the behavioural loops that sustain them, through decisive, tangible interpersonal acts, so that lasting social change can be achieved.

And what makes this political argument so powerful is the way it is woven into the fabric of Desiree’s own story, and the way her own story is itself woven into the fabric of the show. It is all tied together at the end for a fittingly powerful climax to a rollercoaster hour of stand-up storytelling that is both downright hilarious and genuinely profound. The end? Lasting social change. The means? Stand-up storytelling. The impact? Lasting.