Shelf: Boys

Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Christopher’s Pick of the Fringe.

I went to see Shelf, a comedy duo made up of Rachel Watkeys Dowie and Ruby Clyde, on what was easily the hottest day during my Edinburgh visit. The audience, a packed house in a very hot room, sat in anticipation.

If the room was hot, the comedy from Shelf was even hotter – yet simultaneously a sweet breeze of fresh air. I’m going say this now, and probably repeat it throughout for clarity and because it bears repeating – Shelf are going to be massive. Right from the very first moment, Rachel and Ruby were immensely likeable and exuded an effortless charm over the audience.

The set up for the show is that they want to form a successful boy band, a through-line lasting the entire hour.  The first sketch was a Buzzfeed quiz which revealed faults, foibles and dysfunction within their presented friendship, letting the audience into their world in a novel way, as well as being incredibly funny. On the journey through this show, Shelf deal with topics such as break ups, love, friendship, sexuality, mental health and screaming pillows (something I really want in my day-to-day life!) in incredibly accessible and funny ways with a great deal of intelligence. There were even songs, something for everyone!

The chemistry between Rachel and Ruby absolutely sparkled, from the writing to the performance, page to stage, everything feeds into each other perfectly. I will repeat, Shelf are going to be huge. I cannot recommend going to see them highly enough – and do go and see them while they are free!

Shelf – Boys.

Part of the PBH Free Fringe.

Black Market.


Until 26th August.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.