Jo Romero – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

Jo Romero is comedically fearless: at least in the way that she ploughs on regardless of audience bemusement, or even indifference.

You can’t blame them for being confused: her routine is an uneasy mix of over-the-top stupidity and wobbly stand-up, performed with such deliberate theatrically that you could mistake it for the actions of an overeager drama student performing their workshop exercises.

The parts that are closest to traditional stand-up are certainly the weakest, such as a routine mocking Pamela Anderson’s limited acting skills in Baywatch a mere 19 years after the show first appeared on our screens, while possible insights into her personal world never bear fruit. She mentions, for example, that she’s a Christian – which would give her something of a novel point of view in today’s godless stand-up environment – but all it really leads to is a few deflated observations about ‘Christian’ dating.

The material itself is largely pointless, however, simply existing to provide a gateway into her ridiculously physical pieces, in which she strikes exaggerated poses and pointedly overacts the scenarios she’s discussing, often repeating them in the hope that duplication will lead to laughs. More usually, the giggles come when she stops herself and realisation dawns this is no way for a grown woman to be behaving.

There is certainly some potential in sending up her own stupidity, and the time she must have on her hands that she can dedicate to making intimidating finger puppets or cheap android props. There may also be rewards in exploiting the full-on bonkers style like The Might Boosh and Vic Reeves have done before here – although, it has to be noted that they had better material to match their madness than Romero can muster.

She’s likeable and fun, and a cheeky side to her personality always shines through the nonsense, but even after several years on and off the circuit, her set still feels stylistically unsettled and too unsure of where the funny lies to be reliably entertaining.

Review date: 4 Dec 2008
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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