Lucy Porter: The Bare Necessities

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

The charmingly effervescent Lucy Porter is one of the warmest, most effortlessly delightful comics on the circuit – which means criticising her show is akin to punching a kitten. Well stand by, Tiddles…

Inspired by credit-crunch belt-tightening, The Bare Necessities is about what essentials we need to get by in life. It seems that the first thing Porter has decided to cut back on is content, with scant jokes illustrating superficial opinions in a meandering, flimsy show.

She cruises along on winsome likeability alone, not really applying herself to creating anything substantial. And if you’re cynical about sweetness, beware… she performs in front of an impossibly cutesy picture of a puppy and some ducks, while he finale involves her reading a saccharine list of homespun aphorisms that probably wouldn’t look out of place on souvenir-stall tea towel.

Porter oozes positivity, and I started keeping track of how many things were ‘brilliant’ or ‘great’ or ‘lovely’, but couldn’t keep up. Still as an application of neuro-linguistic programming to spread a subliminal message, it’s quite impressive.

As always, it’s the moments that challenge this sweet image that are funniest, such as when she comes out with an overly-bitchy comment or mentions casually that she used to share a flat with heroin addicts. These offer a couple of nice lines, a practical joke you can play in Lidl being a third. But these moments aside, there’s very little of the sharp writing or insight of which she’s previously proved herself capable.

Instead, she keeps up throwing up suggestions such as whether money can buy you happiness and concludes ‘well, sort of…’ She says she’s worried about privacy and concludes, well… nothing.

The hour, though skilfully delivered by an expert communicator, feels like a rushed last-minute essay on the subject, full of half-explored ideas and ill-collated notes, rather than the fruits of a year’s work by an accomplished comedian. ‘Could do better,’ is the only verdict. And we know she could.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

Review date: 1 Jan 2008
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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