Viv Groskop: Be More Margo | Review by Julia Chamberlain
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Viv Groskop: Be More Margo

Note: This review is from 2016

Review by Julia Chamberlain

This is a delightful, daffy hour on middle class mores, family, Brexit and whatnot.

Viv Groskop, a rhapsody in Margo Leadbetter inspired polyester, is teasing and gently mocking of her audience, most of whom will never see 50 again, judging by tonight, but were drawn to the prospect of The Good Life revisited.

That’s not what they got, it’s not a tribute show, but a way in for Groskop to review her own life where homegrown elocution lessons were encouraged by her mother exhorting her to: ‘Be more Margo.’ This is the 1970s when Britain still thought spaghetti was something to put on toast, hummus was what you dug into the garden and a Norn Irish accent did not offer the popular advantage it does, at least for the time-being, now.

Much of the humour comes from Groskop’s extensive collection of people’s ‘most middle-class thing ever’ confessions, most of which suggest a populace so twee and ineffectual that revolution could be achieved by shutting down Waitrose overnight.

Her warmth is spiked with acidic remarks on marriage and children and she is strongest talking about personal experience of parents, whether harking back to her own or in reference to being one. It all serves to highlight our lack of ease with class and the otherness of ‘not from round here’.

There’s a modest amount of interaction with the audience, nothing terrifying, and tonight’s show was particularly fortunate in having a rather direct and literal economist from Denmark, who didn’t quite get it and a more laidback father and son from Australia, who definitely did.

No one should be in any doubt about Groskop’s standup credentials after this. She could dial down the quotes from the audience surveys, but her relaxed and charming manner is completely compelling. She could make more of the grittier aspects the parallels to the Brexit nonsense we are living with, and more about her parents, but it’s a thoroughly enjoyable, gently funny hour shot through with more piquant moments.

I love a comedy hour that makes me want to ask more questions of the performer, and This Is What You Get here.

Review date: 19 Aug 2016
Reviewed by: Julia Chamberlain
Reviewed at: Underbelly Cowgate

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