Julia Morris: Will You Kids Get Out Of That Pool P

Note: This review is from 2003

Review by Steve Bennett

Comedy's glorious queen of camp is back - and on top form - with this hour devoted to her favourite subject: herself.

As glam as it gets and madder than a wombat in a trilby, Morris gives herself the This Is Your Life treatment, charting her progress from a gorgeous Sydney suburb to a grim suicide hotspot in north London, throwing away a glitzy TV career in the process.

This isn't some self-penned hagiography, though, as she rarely shows herself in anything like the most sympathetic light. But her honesty, energy and unselfconscious kookiness still endears her to the audience.

After an impassioned bitch about a run-in with a surly Edinburgh cab driver - No. 816, she wants the world to know - she goes through her family albums, mocking the Seventies fashions, her gay-looking brother and her secret past as a fat porker (very Friends, this). In many people's hands, this could be deathly dull, but J-Mo, as she's taken to calling herself, makes it a glamorous adventure.

Along the way, she bemoans the fact her cosy, stable, middle-class upbringing didn't provide the torrid background that would serve her comedy career well, yet somewhere along the way she's picked up enough personality quirks for a psychology thesis.

Babbling away ten-to-the dozen, she comes across as mad, self-obsessed, shallow and petty. And this is what she's like, as she admits, after she's quit drugs.

Because her thinking is so scatty, you're never quite sure where her anecdotes are leading, so the rug is pulled out from you time and time again. It proves a perfect comedy style, always wrong-footing the audience, and Morris employs it to fabulous effect, giving her an unpredictable edge most other personality-driven comics lack.

This all culminates in a fantastic story about accompanying disabled children on a trip of a lifetime to the States. She constantly bitches about her demanding charges, but the tale culminates in an inspirational ending, subsequently ruined with a unnecessary schmaltzy rendition of Send In The Clowns.

But that's a rare slip in an unexpectedly complex, layered piece of stand-up storytelling. She delivers it with an indomitable spirit of camp fun, but there's a lot more than style-obsessed froth on show here.

Review date: 1 Jan 2003
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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