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Sarah Millican: Chatterbox

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

‘I don’t know why I’m telling you lot this…’ says Sarah Millican at one point in her effortlessly breezy hour. This might be a touch disingenuous, for the answer is surely that it’s in the set list she goes through night after night – but the phrase perfectly captures both the indiscretion and unaffectedly friendliness that are the hallmarks of this accomplished comedian.

She’ll talk about intimate anatomy as readily as she’ll talk about biscuits, just as long as she’s talking. She’s a gossipy aunt, a domestic everywoman who shops at M&S and vegges out in front of the telly suddenly given the opportunity to speak, and not quite having the right filter to decide what is and isn’t appropriate.

She makes plenty of self-deprecating comments about how her love of cakes makes her fat and unattractive. Unlike Jo Brand’s excursions into similar territory, there’s no hint of bitterness, but more of a celebratory tone. Boy comics might boast of their alcohol intake, Millican takes pride in being described (by Russell Kane) as a ‘cake pigeon’ who can’t pass a bakery without cooing.

The warmth of the delivery – and undoubtedly the soft North-Eastern accent – ensure that what might be considered filth in some comics’ hands is simply incorrigibly naughty here. And such candour helps the audience open up too, and the banter is free-flowing on both sides.

It gives the impression that this show is simply a conversation writ large. That may be the usual style for most 20-minute club sets. but many comics struggle to do the same over an hour. For Millican it comes naturally. She doesn’t need big themes or structural skeletons to hold her show together, just her assured writing with its perfectly-expressed thoughts and ideas gelling into piquant jokes. Simple!

Review date: 27 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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