Debra-Jane Appelby – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2005

Review by Steve Bennett

Funny Women winner Debra Appelby’s a no-nonsense Yorkshire lass, blunt and sarcastic in a take-it-or-leave-it kind of way. ‘I eat like a pig and don’t give a shit’ is not only her punchline, but her philosophy in a nutshell.

Her brassy style endears her to audiences, and her performance is punchily confident, owing more than a nod to the old-fashioned Northern club circuit. A touch like Peter Kay, in that respect.

But in material, she’s reluctant to venture far from stating the obvious, whether it be the irony of bird flu erupting in Turkey, the addictive quality of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, or the idea that the 21st century isn’t the gleaming space-age nirvana we were promised by Tomorrow’s World.

Such frustrations resonate strongly with the audience, and she is effective in painting vivid pictures of the scenarios she describes. But it’s hardly startlingly original subject matter, and it seems a waste of her strong delivery to be offering something so familiar.

Still, as the old line goes, ‘it’s the way you tell ‘em’ – and Appelby’s the embodiment of that, whatever the flaws in the material.

Review date: 4 Jul 2005
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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