Janey Godley: Tell It Like It Is

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

Janey Godley’s show is revealing, honest, poignant, sad and optimistic all at once.

Although she does not want your pity for her tough early life, she does want your admiration for pulling herself up out of it and becoming a successful author, stand-up and mentor for disadvantaged youth. She was nominated as Scotswoman of the Year, but lost out to a Polish-born medical professor. Godley is unashamedly bitter for this loss.

Shewelcomes the audience in to the venue personally, explaining how each one of us is related to her in her imaginary – and, given the size of the audience, overpopulated – family. To accommodate latecomers she chats amiably, showing her skill as an experienced compere.

Godley cleverly uses the TV eyewitness accounts of the Glasgow terror attack to illustrate Glaswegians as she sees them. It’s a good way of setting up the audience to see her upbringing in the East End of Glasgow through her eyes, which forms the main body of the show.

She pays homage to her mother, who was murdered at the age of 46, the age Godley is now. Godley tentatively treads the path her mother took, checking to see if she has escaped the same fate, worried that she may, too, leave a 21-year-old daughter alone.

This sounds odd, for a comedy show, but Godley’s natural talent for storytelling and optimism mean that every anecdote is peppered with funny characters and hilarious one-liners.

Godley has a lack of self doubt rare in a female comedian. This combined with her intelligence, flair for storytelling, and razor-sharp wit make this a hot ticket this Fringe.

Reviewed by: Rosie Carnahan

Review date: 1 Jan 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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