Janey Godley: Domestic Godley

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

Over the years, Janey Godley’s told us so much about her family, through Fringe shows, newspaper columns and her misery memoir, that you almost feel you should put her relatives on your Christmas card list.

The same cast are here in this show: the mother murdered at 47, the husband with Asperger Syndrome autism, and the daughter she spent a fortune educating only for her to ponce around trying to be an actor. The setting, too, is the same as always – the rough East End of Glasgow.

This time, Godley’s going back to her own childhood memories, and she could give Monty Python’s Four Yorkshiremen a run for their money in the ‘we were poor, but we were happy’ stakes – but with a side order of sectarianism, for good measure.

The hour is topped and tailed with these evocative stories – but in between, she loses her way. Perhaps wary that she’s told us all there is to know about her tragic family history, she indulges in some fairly standard stand-up fare.

The most ordinary of the lot is that men and women are different. Apparently – get this! – women are very good at recalling old arguments, while men like barbecues and Sky+. She’ll be telling us about the difference between cats and dogs next… well, blow me, she nearly does, covering the feline side of the equation at least.

Elsewhere, there’s some more generic nostalgia of the ‘Do you remember Teasmade? Do you remember hostess trollies?’ type. Peter Kay’s proved how lucrative this can be, but exciting, it isn’t.

The predominantly middle-aged and middle-class audience, perhaps attracted by Godley’s status as a Scotsman columnist, recognise the references, and shriek whenever she says a naughty word (which is quite often), especially when she’s being grumpily derisory about children.

Her gossipy sarcasm proves engaging as always, and gets her through the thinner patches, but this is probably her least assured show to date – her Funny Women award notwithstanding – because of its over-reliance on familiar comic territory.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

Review date: 1 Jan 2008
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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