'Dirty Word' - Kirsty Munro - Edinburgh Fringe Review

The first official night of the Edinburgh Festival had me heading straight to fringe venue 170, The Laughing Horse@The Counting House, a busy and popular pub that is part of  the Free Edinburgh Fringe festival and usually a good bet for some decent free laughs after a few drinks.

With a plethora of different shows to choose from in the multi-room venue, we settled on Kirsty Munro's 'Dirty Word', mainly due to enthusiastic and abundant flyer distributors and the promise of something a little cheeky. 

Unfortunately for a show promising to be an "alternative fusion of filth and feminism", the first night fell short of expectations, proving to be neither quite either.

In all fairness, a few unforeseen circumstances made Munro's first outing on this Fringe a little harder than it needed to be. For starters, a functional microphone really is an essential piece of kit, especially when facing the bleary-eyed stragglers of the Friday night drinks crowd who have managed to make it to 11pm. The mid-show entrance of a misguided delivery man who momentarily floated on stage, lingering confusedly like a fart in a trance, did not help her attempt at keeping the attention of an already distractable audience.

Although her recent festival preview show in Leicester seemed to go down well, "favourite" dirty words like "frou frou" didn't quite cut the mustard with a difficult Scottish crowd and unimpressed mutterings of "isn't that just a posh word for fanny?" began to circulate around the back rows. 

As individual conversations began to spring up throughout the room, Munro continued to flounder in her bid to capture the hearts and attentions of her audience. Despite a number of attempts to win us over with increasingly peculiar tales of promiscuity and drunkenness and a particularly bizarre momentary touch on rape, the promised 'shock factor' somehow never quite materialised. Keeping a smile on her face, she then had a pop at a couple of Bridget Jones-esque social dilemmas and even what seemed to be an allegory of a scene from the brilliant League of Gentlemen. However, it seemed that the damage had been done and after a while Munro appeared to accept that the interest of the room had been lost, reverting to some quiet flirting with the drunken lads in the front row.

Overall, as the show unfolded, I couldn't help but be reminded of that creeping feeling of disappointment that you get when you meet up with an old friend, drag out all your hilarious memories and realise with a blow that they're not actually that funny or shocking anymore. Exterior circumstances certainly did not do Munro any favours on her opening night, but unfortunately she failed to connect with the crowd in any way and the general consensus seemed to be that the dirtiest word of the evening came right at the end - "donations."


  1. This is a brilliant review, thanks to you I don't think I will be wasting my time seeing Munro, hopefully your next show will be better and reveal a hidden talent at the festival. Looking forward to the next installment Dung Beetle!

  2. Gillian Hamilton8 August 2011 at 12:47

    Hilarious... Brilliant first review! Can't wait for the next.

  3. Thanku - its a very fair review and good to hear ur thoughts. Glad I made your first review hilarious! Success for me after all then! I give you 5 stars for your reviewing skills keep up the good work! xx

  4. Thanks for your comment Kirsty, very decent of you! Hope you ironed out the technical difficulties and had a good run in the end. I will look out for you next year to hopefully write a glittering review! Best of luck

  5. Thanku! Yes made friends with the mic in the end :) Thanks hope so too see u up there! xx