There are worse qualities to bring to standup than an urge to communicate. There’s nothing exceptional about Maisie Adam’s show Buzzed in terms of theme or unique style. But there is a sense, at a festival where standups often struggle to pad out their hour, that the 28-year-old has lots to say, and can’t wait to say it. We’re at the 70-minute mark by the time she’s done, after a thoroughly engaging set about proposals, weddings, and – topical, this one, after England’s Euros triumph – a recent moment of personal footballing glory.
She could probably bring the show in under an hour just by telling us less often how lucky she feels to be a pro standup. But it’s that kind of show: bursting with puppyish pleasure not to be on Zoom any more, and with more joy besides because Adam has her life just where she wants it. Her boyfriend popped the question on a holiday to Prague, a scene engineered here into a lovely comic nugget, as he keeps chasing the perfect sunlit moment, then keeps losing his nerve. She’s now starring on the favourite TV shows of her youth, too – even if their celebrity hosts don’t always remember her name.
It’s fun just to bask in that positivity, and it carries Adam through even the weaker sections of her set. A routine about houseplants as gifts is overstretched, then just about redeemed by her girlish embarrassment at its saucy punchline. And she’s hardly the first to observe that weddings are fraught with sexism – but when she depicts her dad handing her over to her husband like a used car, it’s pretty irresistible.
Just as often, the good cheer is backed by strong content, like the running joke about Adam’s extreme haircut, which allows her to have two personalities at once. Or her sarcastic tirade about the relative virtues of football and rounders, towards which girls are steered so boys can have football to themselves. In reaction against that, Adam ends by striking a blow for both gender equality and her own sporting prowess. As her beloved Soccer AM might say, of both her shot and this show: top bins!