Sarah Millican: Home Bird Live | DVD review by Steve Bennett

Sarah Millican: Home Bird Live

Note: This review is from 2014

DVD review by Steve Bennett

It's less than a minute into Sarah Millican's third DVD before she's mentioned her 'claggy' vagina; a perfect example of her blend of blunt home truths and Geordie charm.

But although much has been made of her distinctive knack of being able to say the filthiest things in the most endearing of ways, Home Bird offers a broader range of domestic observational comedy than that.

The title comes from her life-changing decision to move from rented flats to buying a house – and shacking up with her 'fella' to boot. She's delighted at finally being able to go upstairs to bed, and paints a homely image, completed with her acquisition of cats.

At a loss with what to do with the half-dead 'gifts' her feline housemates now return, she asks the audience – a hometown crowd at the Newcastle Tyne Theatre – for suggestions, provoking engaging, easy badinage that plays to her considerable strengths. Fans feel included, it builds the idea of this being a conversation, and provides her with a raft of bonus punchlines from responses received at previous gigs.

She deploys the device again when asking for ideas of items that can be taken on a dirty weekend, stripping away any erotic mystique the Ann Summers catalogue may hold as she considers their practicality.

The same down-to-earth approach applies to the way she describes her relationship. Her now-husband (Mock The Week regular Gary Delaney, though never named on screen) is an integral part of her act, as he is in her life. Yet it's surprisingly rare in comedy to hear so much about a partnership defined by playfulness, wind-ups and shitty Christmas presents, yet clearly hugely affectionate. Her tale of a trip to Warwick Castle's dungeons, where she is scared witless and he is defiantly nonchalant says it all.

Her relationship with her parents is equally warm, and there's even not too much of a grudge when she bring up her ex-husband in an extended routine about the moment when the scales fell from her eyes. Like so much of her stand-up, it seems effortless – but it takes skill to hold the audience like this.

As always, she comes across as a heightened, chummy Everywoman, and while not banging the drum of feminism quite so blatantly as some of her contemporaries, uses that liveability to smuggle in some astute points about pernicious women's magazines and Kate Moss's assertion that 'nothing tastes as good as skinny feels'.

For any woman – or any man – who knows that's bullshit, Millican's the comic for you.

Review date: 24 Nov 2014
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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