Janey Godley's Blog - Live!

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett


Janey Godley is playing to about a dozen people in a room that could hold maybe ten times more. The audience would have been bigger, but she just turned away a family who thought it wise to bring their ten-year-old daughter along, despite the earthy language and earthier subject matter this gobby Glaswegian deals in.

It's a good job they took her advice on board, given that the first tale involved her having sex with a blow-up man. This isn't stuff for the squeamish.

As the show's title suggests, these are real stories from her popular online diary, which started life on Chortle as a way of overcoming writers' block. It proves an eventful read because Godley is one of those people who bizarre things just seem to happen to ­ possibly because of an interventionist policy that would put Donald Rumsfeld to shame ­ and she has no qualms about sharing her most intimate moments with a paying audience.

So the other graphic stories we hear tonight involve her punching a man with cerebral palsy (don't worry, there is more to it than that), trying to have sex while simultaneously conducting an online conversation with a suicidal US Army man stationed at Abu Ghraib, vomiting (both from her and her teenage daughter), and the time she embarrassed herself in front of George Clooney at the Baftas ­ and that's the least interesting yarn of the bunch.

They are all fascinating tales, even if we're compelled to listen in the same way you rubberneck for a car crash, and Godley's admirable candour means they're raw, messy and near-the-knuckle. She seems more at ease talking about such things than the audience are to hear them. They don't often culminate in punchlines ­ life is rarely that convenient ­ but they will have you transfixed.

What's more, they show that Godley can spin a yarn away from the bleak-but-real tales of murder, abuse and gangland crime from her past that made her name. She's not in that tough East End Glaswegian pub she used to run any more, and the subject matter will inevitably change.

But she's still got a chatty, compelling way about her, that means she can connect to and audience, however small and potentially uncomfortable.

Steve Bennett


Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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