Lucy Porter: Lady Luck

Note: This review is from 2004

Review by Steve Bennett

Lucy Porter is loveliness personified, a talkative bright-eyed poppet full of impish charm, gleeful enthusiasm and a generosity of spirit that unfailingly seduces audiences.

Well, except when it comes to the likes of Posh Spice - then the spite comes out. And even then you don't believe a word of it, so delightful is she even when she's bitching.

However, to concentrate only on her captivating, charismatic presence would do a disservice to her comedy, which at its best can be as enchanting as her personality.

But not here, at least not consistently, in a loose show that never properly gets to grips with its purported subject of luck.

Though deluding herself that she's not superstitious, Porter confesses to living her life by the horoscopes, visiting up to ten mystics in a month. Her premise, then, is to explore the world of fortune, chance and the ritualistic behaviour that supposedly encourages the gods to smile upon us.

It's a broad umbrella subject (though not one to be opened indoors), encompassing so many possibilities yet allowing a thread to develop. But even with the latitude luck provides, Porter's range of anecdotes and silly games ­ including all the excitement of the tombola ­ is just too jumbled, unfocussed and under-researched to make a good show.

There's some examples of what people consider good and bad luck, some personal tales of her own and a hint of how the statistical chances of what we might think is a freak occurrence can be counterintuitively high.

Much of this may seem little more than chit-chat, although she has a cunning and skilful knack of parachuting good jokes into what she deceived you into thinking was aimless banter. These often make the show as funny as it is feelgood, but just not often enough not to expose the huge thematic problems.

Only the showstopper really works in the context of the big idea, a suitably lively spectacular to underline the playful hour that preceded it, but it comes along too late.

Porter's charm easily carries her through, but she is capable of so much more. With more focus, next year's show might be the one that proves it. Touch wood.

Review date: 1 Jan 2004
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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