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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 August 2005, 15:41 GMT 16:41 UK
Fringe review: Rain Pryor
By Charles Pamment
BBC News website

Rain Pryor
Rain Pryor opens the doors to her family life
Rain Pryor, daughter of the US comic actor Richard, puts on a humorous and moving performance for Fringe audiences with her show Fried Chicken and Latkes, based on her father's life.

Rain Pryor is the offspring of one of America's greatest, and in many people's eyes the greatest, black comedians of the 20th Century.

It would be a hard act to follow if it wasn't for the fact that she is not competing with the likes of her father but is instead more representative of him and his art.

Her style is largely anecdotal, punctuated with her own one-liners, and relies heavily on recounting her early years in a manner - and with a stage presence - reminiscent of her father.

But Rain's outstanding skill within the Pryor family is an excellent ability as a character actress, she leaps effortlessly from imitating one of her life's influences to another, pearling them together as if telling a story.

She touches on her mother's "Jewishness" counter-pointed by her father's "blackness", but includes anyone who had any major influence whatsoever.

On occasion it is difficult to follow her mode of speech due to some of the jargon she employs, but I'm sure she will adapt her diction as she tours the country.

Natural performer

Her comedy is raw, often touching and emotive, her reference to her father's love of women is dealt with by referring to his several wives waiting in the hospital waiting room for news after his highly publicised suicide attempt in the early 80s.

Her experiences of racism while growing up in the turbulent years of 1970s America are told with piercing reality but, just like her father, she tells the tales by taking slices of human life and making them funny to audiences of all ethnic backgrounds.

All in all she is a natural performer with a good repertoire and, for followers/lovers of Richard Pryor, provides an interesting insight into the goings-on of the Pryor family. The show's engaging enough for the time to pass effortlessly, especially if you are the one she chooses for a little audience participation.

Rain Pryor is at Edinburgh's Smirnoff Baby Belly until 28 August.


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