Jo Enright – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

Tiny Jo Enright is a brilliantly gifted caricaturist, skilfully able to bring to life the exaggerated characters that inhabit her painstakingly polished stand-up set, yet still keep them credible.

She makes much of her dour Brummie roots, but is able to disguise that distinctively rough-edged accent to become anything from her meek Irish mother to a feral Netto shopper to an eight-year-old Scouser – a role even more convincing given Enright only measures 4ft 10in herself.

The comedy comes from precise way she emphasises key words, forming them into most unlikely catchphrases, whether it be her mother's irrational fear of 'eskielaytors', her own bafflement at ‘couscous’ or a bored shop assistant talking about her life ‘in retail’.

Her softly-softly delivery gently entices you into this mundane world, quietly and unhurriedly accumulating minutely detailed observations to build up the picture.

Not that such a low-key approach means she can’t handle a crowd, Enright has more than enough experience to cope with the most boisterous of gatherings – even if it does mean an over-reliance on every bog-standard heckle putdown in the hacks’ manual.

She's not the sort of comic who evolves her material very quickly, but has, over the years, polished her routines to maximize every laugh with the tiniest nuance or delicately judged pause – and it’s that which makes her such a reliable act.

Review date: 1 Jul 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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