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Wendy Wason: Flashbacks

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Corry Shaw

There is a risk allowing reviewers in to a preview show, and one Wendy Wason maybe shouldn't have taken. Infinitely likeable and endlessly enthusiastic, she is a joy to watch – but there is a downside his charm when her material doesn't quite hit the spot. She can come across like the nicest girl in the pub telling you entertaining but ultimately pointless anecdotes until she runs out of steam.

There is a loose narrative, with the heavily pregnant Wason explaining that the imminent birth of her third child has made her look back over her life and the events that shaped her through childhood. It is a nice concept but it does feel a little contrived as she jumps from tales of her South African infancy to stories about shopping in Sainsbury’s with the same emphasis and importance applied to both.

Wason blames her 'pregnant brain' and the fact this is a preview show for her scattiness in keeping to script (and to time) and for losing her place and her flow on more than one occasion. You get the impression that this rattlebrained absent-mindedness is more than just transient, but despite its impact on her timing it adds to her charm and the audience go with it.

There are some lovely sections dotted in the muddle, with a rundown of the No 1's at the time of Wason’s important birthdays demonstrating how the quality of music through the decades matched how her parents’ expectations of her also plunged. She gets the audience involved in this section and it is clear that the crowd have warmed to her as they happily play along with her asides and questions. It's a testament to her skill as a performer that she can accuse a gentleman in the front row of dressing like a paedophile in the 70s and he responds like it's a compliment. Her audience interaction is assured, but again can feel more like a chat with a good mate than something more suited to a comedy show.

Review date: 6 Aug 2011
Reviewed by: Corry Shaw

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