Lucy Porter: The Good Life

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

You can't go wrong with Lucy Porter; now such a familiar, sweetly smiling face on the Fringe, and a stand-up you can always rely on for an upbeat hour about her struggles to make sense of the world.

This year, she's been trying to live a better life. She fears she's treading too heavily upon this world; that as a live comedian her job is essentially the unedifying one of helping bars sell beer; and that, come to mention it, it's probably about time she started looking after herself, too.

Full of such liberal guilt, she's vowed to be a bit more green, a bit less hedonistic and a bit more charitable. Noble aims all, and ones which will resonate with a good many well-intentioned middle-class twenty and thirtysomething urbanites who like going to Scottish-based arts festivals, which is convenient. Her failures to surmount many of the obstacles on the path of righteousness will strike many chords, too.

One thing I should probably point out is that she starts the show dressed as a giant carrot ­ not a standard opening, that ­ as if her charming, inclusive and just plain lovely demeanour wasn't already the epitome of wholesome goodness.

But things are not quite what they seem. Behind those doe eyes and good intentions lies a soul as erratic as any unbalanced comedian's. She's not even that sure, she finally confesses, that she's all that bothered about being good ­ after all, if all women love a bastard, there's surely a flipside that says men don't want goody two-shoes.

It's true of comedy audiences, too. For all her enjoyable, excitable chat about her aims and failings, the biggest laughs come when sweet Lucy talks dirty, marrying the coy and the outrageous, just to wrongfoot you. Only she could tell a story of watersports fetishists so full of empathy it ends with a sad but touching mental image.

These moments provide a bit of an edge to an otherwise straightforward, linear show, which otherwise bounds along enthusiasm, good cheer and gossipy confession more than quotable punchlines you can take home with you.

But, as ever, Porter has provided another feelgood hour ­ and that imparted joy has got to validate her job, whatever the beer sales figures.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

Review date: 1 Aug 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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