Lou Sanders

Lou Sanders

Winner of Taskmaster in 2019, Lou Sanders' other credits include being Mel Giedroyc's sidekick on the Dave series Unforgivable and a contestant on the 2024 series of Dancing on Ice. Her other credits include QI, The Late Late Show with James Corden and Would I Lie To You? In 2023 she released her memoirs, What's That Lady Doing?
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Lou Sanders: One Word: Wow

Tour review

Lou Sanders has turned skittishness into a career, and her new tour, Wow, is another typically nervy overshare of her insecurities.

She takes the stereotypical comedian’s psychology of raging ego but crippling self-doubt and leans into it. The running gag is to make bold, alpha-female assertions about her awesomeness or hotness, then laugh off their audacity, tongue-in-cheek.

This transparent fakery softens the real-life stories, regaled with a disarming no-filter delivery. She tries to make out everything is a big dumb joke, including her honest feelings, yet the truth seeps through. It’s a winning, unforced personality that engages the audience, even when the routines and the overarching narrative fall short.

Deprived of gigs during the pandemic, she came to realise that her single-minded commitment to comedy had robbed her of any hobbies and friends outside the business. And she vowed to address this by doing what few roughly 40-year-old women would do: take up roller-skating.

She – or maybe it was one of the new-age mumbo-jumboists she consults – concluded that fear of embarrassment was no good reason not to hit the local skate park, and so she did. Although she jokes about being out of place and her many pratfalls, the tone is celebratory as she congratulates herself for living life.

While at the skate park, Sanders meets and falls for a boy much younger, prompting hopes of an end to a long relationship drought while sparking some concerns, and jokes, about the age gap. Sanders is always aware of her own absurdity, and this is ripe for her triumphant self-deprecation. Of the many male comics in similar relationships, most wouldn’t think to mention it - as she points out in some sly feminist messaging. 

Chapter breaks are provided by readings from her ‘skater diary’ – a relatively feeble device, especially as she admits her tendency to ‘waff on’ in the entries, so skips through them. But the loosely structured hour, which flows freely, even chaotically, from pandemic experiences (including a tremendous vaccination-based pun no one else has thought of) to quips about social media needs some anchors, lest it gets washed away in the torrent of Sanders’ outpourings. 

As with her skating, she rather fluffs the landing, ending with some vague pronouncements about love. But if it was a nice, neat conclusion, would it really be a Lou Sanders show at all?

Support comes from her flatmate, Luke McQueen, who has a similarly uneven energy. It’s rare for a warm-up act to be so quick to take against the crowd, berating the drink placed on stage or the rattle of ice in someone’s drink before the first punchline. However, he wins us back with offbeat anecdotes about sexual predators in the comedy world and a surreal extrapolation of the backstory of the Where’s Wally? leading man.

Lou Sanders: One Word: Wow is on tour until the end of June. Lou Sanders tour dates

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Published: 28 Apr 2022


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