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Lucy Porter: Fringe 2012

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Alex Mason

Lucy Porter begins by being slightly awkward and self-deprecatory – though everyone knows really she's witty, charming, amazing... I've fallen in love with her without really listening to what the show's about. It's no surprise the venue's packed with an adoring audience, and Porter charismatically owning the room with a mild lavender-scented breeze.

The year she's tackling friendship – supposedly. Friendship does feature in a couple of bits, including a twist-in-the-tale ending, but she's had a couple years off from the Fringe due to 'banging out children' and there’s no mistake this show is really about motherhood.

There's the usual smattering of witticisms, funny anecdotes, and even some jibes at fellow comedians (although in the most inoffensive form imaginable), but despite ticking all the boxes it doesn't add any new ones and it's material you could have guessed given five minutes and a napkin.

Motherhood loneliness, mum puns, wedding jokes, an extended routine that takes us from getting impregnated through purchasing a pram, feeling sexy while pregnant and through to mother-baby activities. Argh! Even daytime television gets a mention, and everything wrapped up in cuddles and loveliness and joy.

It almost tips over the edge during an Argos joke, the new stand-in for airline food. She reads some 'funny' reviews from the Argos website which are fairly amusing, but this is the sort of material you can see verbatim in the back of half the pubs in London on open mic night. It's done much better here, but does it really need to be done at all?

It's a testament to Porter's jaw-dropping talent that she can make an hour of this material enjoyable, and she does. Anyone else and I'd be frothing at the mouth, but she wields an innate ability to suspend your cynicism. There's a repeated impression of a ghetto-like child that'd ordinarily be unforgivable, but reality is distorted until you start thinking even that is funny in its own right.

This is Lucy Porter at her most mediocre; fans will love it and no doubt some newcomers will come away converts, but this is more going through the motions than a triumphant comeback.

Review date: 13 Aug 2012
Reviewed by: Alex Mason
Reviewed at: Stand 1

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