Tanyalee Davis: Little Do They Know

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

What TanyaLee Davis lacks in height she more than makes up for in personality. Although only 3ft 6in, she has a vivacious attitude that make her 10ft tall.

This show is about her life, from her birth in 1970 when a recessive gene meant she was born with a rare form of dwarfism, up to now, when she is a happy comedian who has achieved everything she wanted in life so far.

Davis has had to contend with a lot, but has fed on all these problems and used them to make her stronger – and developed them into some very funny material. She says herself she sees all these things not as ‘stumbling blocks, but as stepping stones’.

Davis is at her best when she becomes excited about the stories she is recounts. She tells us about jumping across the Canadian border with her friend Pam and driving to LA so they could immerse themselves in showbusiness. She gets down off her stool and leans forward towards us and I swear her eyes are actually sparkling. She has an infectious demeanor about her.

If I had one gripe about this show, it would be that comedy is sometimes better when there are lows as well as highs. And Davis’s attitude is so positive you don’t feel like she has overcome anything. By the end, I felt that she was telling us her story not because she believed she had achieved anything great, but because other people keep telling her she has.

The one story that did have me cringing in embarrassment for society was a story of how an ignorant National Rail worker would not let her on the Oxford to Reading train with her scooter. Unfortunately this story ended up falling a little flat and lacked the uplifting punchline needed to really get it going.

And there is an important message in this show. Tanyalee always wanted to be on stage, and was not going to let what others may see as a barrier stop her. So none of us really has an excuse not to follow our dreams.

Reviewed by: Rosie Carnahan

Review date: 1 Jan 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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