Karen Bayley – Original Review | Review by Steve Bennett

Karen Bayley – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2003

Review by Steve Bennett

During her routine, brassy Brummie comic Karen Bayley talks about SatNav devices. Apt really, as she prefers her comedy to take the most direct, well-travelled route, with gags clearly signposted.

It makes for rather a predictable set: all late-night kebabs, slagging off Big Brother contestants and Poundstretchers. That SatNav piece itself is, predictably, a 'difference between men and women' reference to the gadget's various voices. B

ut while the lowbrow material isn't, for the most part, particularly edifying, she does prove herself capable of better, occasionally pulling an inspired punchline out of the bag that really surprises.

What she lacks in distinctive material, though, she more than makes up for in an irresistibly commanding delivery. She purposefully takes her comedy to the audience, and brooks no nonsense in return.

Add to that a brilliant comic timing, an efficiency in dispatching jokes that get straight to the point and a well-constructed set, and you have a very strong base to build from.

But with so much in her favour, it's only all the more disappointing that she seems reluctant to leave the comfort zone of safe, formulaic material. She's got the performance tools to be able to deliver much more interesting material without sacrificing the laughs – and it would be nice to see more of that.

Review date: 28 Jul 2003
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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