Lady Garden 2008

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Julia Chamberlain

This is refreshingly good comedy sketch work from half a dozen young women. They are as good at ensemble work as they are individually and seem to have put the show together without any egos shouldering their way to the front.

They may be young, but there’s impressive maturity and subtlety here, and some of the best bits put me in mind of Victoria Wood or Dawn French, when Dawn French was still funny.

The sketches crack along, starting with a splendid pastiche of the type of studenty expressive dance that would clear the High Street in minutes. That introduces everybody, and then they charge into two and three hander sketches with no irritating noisy blackouts for costume changes.

While you may feel that not much new ground is broken, it doesn’t matter when each view is as fresh as new paint. Parodying the Australian Tourist Board’s ‘So where the bloody hell are you?’ ad with dry political points inserted, they produce particularly apposite versions for Manchester and Edinburgh.

There’s the comedy of one-upmanship, with a bunch of girls outdoing each other in the acquisition of vintage clothes, the insensitive scaremongering charity mugger, a hideous Heart Health advisor who is clearly on nodding terms with the heroine of Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party and a beautifully staged Tesco call centre sketch which makes me wonder what else they might develop theatrically.

These are just few of the gems, but the out-and-out winner is the closing sketch of an appalling best man’s speech being matched by the Maid of Honour’s rap.

There are no weak links. I’d be delighted to see their next show. The only minor cavil is the crass title, which doesn’t do justice to this smart, funny and uncommonly well performed show.

Reviewed by: Julia Chamberlain

Review date: 1 Jan 2008
Reviewed by: Julia Chamberlain

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