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Susan Calman: The Last Woman On Earth - Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Chloe Smith

The intro is the blaring siren from the old BBC public information film, followed by an announcement that we have been subject to a nuclear attack and are confined to this bunker of a venue for the next ten years. It’s all a little worrying until Susan Calman loops on stage to reassure us that we’re going have a good time – she’s immediately very plausible.

She got the idea of the show from a long- ago heckle and a De Agostini part work. But Calman can wring humour out of an Asda chicken and bacon bake. She has insight and attitude, and within minutes an audience that will cheerfully accompany her to the end of the world. Which, according to her premise, they just have.

Calman sets about structuring the new society we must now create, assessing the audience for useful traits and trades, and handing out labels so that each will know their place. She carries the theme throughout material that ranges from gender-specific Facebook updates to getting your money’s worth out of the national share of the Royal Bank. Some particularly good tips here.

She bemoans the loss of blitz spirit and points out that straight woman can be somewhat needy. All the way through the laughs arrive with satisfying regularity.

Everything she touches is funny, every Rubik’s Cube and rented TV, each homophobic landlady and dubious degree tickles the audience as much as the apocalypse. And the apocalypse is very funny.

Sharp, warm and massively entertaining, Calman’s show is not one to miss if you take your pleasures seriously.

Review date: 16 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Chloe Smith

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