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Loretta Maine: I’m Not Drunk I Just Need To Talk To You

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

Psycho-intense singer-songwriter Loretta Maine makes Courtney Love look well-balanced. This pill-popping, booze-abusing, bunny-boiling car-crash of a rock star has been the most memorable creation of talented character comic Pippa Evans to date, and is now promoted to both her own show and her own band, Dog Vagina.

Despite Maine’s substance-addled brain, the thinking behind this is clear, as it’s always easier to get noticed in the comedy business as one character than as a ensemble of them. But that comes with the ever-present question of whether a single creation can sustain an hour; and it’s a close call here.

A crazed attention-whore who announces that ‘most of my songs are for the fucked-over’, Maine is clearly compelling to watch; and her embittered swipes at the manufactured music industry or men who have wronged her are full of spitting rage.

But the songs quickly fall into a fall into a familiar pattern of excess, with her nemeses meeting bloody deaths as she cackles over their corpses. It’s rather one-note, ironically for someone who’s clearly a strong musician. She’s also a convincing actor and master improviser. Her time with the acclaimed Showstoppers troupe has taught her well; and one of the best moments sees her seamlessly ad lib a number from the life of one audience member who claimed to be a proctologist.

It’s one of several breaks from her demonic pattern of retribution that benefit from the element of surprise; another being her savage attack on Cosmo magazine for its impossible ethos of ‘You are great the way you are – as long as you change’. It’s one of several dazzlingly pithy line she slurs out over the hour, but don’t feature quite often enough either in her lyrics or in her banter to make this show really rock.

Review date: 20 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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