Lauren Pattison: Lady Muck | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review by Steve Bennett
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Lauren Pattison: Lady Muck

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review by Steve Bennett

It’s a contradiction shared by many comedians. On stage, Lauren Pattison is a picture of happy, engaging confidence, yet her stand-up speaks of crippling self-doubt. She portrays herself as a young woman not happy with who she is and how she appears, getting self-conscious whenever people look at her outside of the stage context.

Her debut hour is one long, perfectly formed, story about how that fragile self-worth took a substantial blow when her boyfriend of  four years, from 18 and 22, dumped her. Not in the traditional way, but by ‘ghosting’ her, suddenly blanking all contact. A proper dick move, which left her devastated.

It came after she moved to London to follow her comedy dreams, which meant living in a shoebox and working in a hated job in retail, and prompted Pattison to re-evaluate whether she had made the right decisions. After all, most of her schoolmates had already settled down and started making families, even at such a young age. Well, she is from Newcastle.

Many of her jokes have a self-deprecating edge, as she depicts herself as ‘unladylike’ – a term she despises for its inherently chauvinistic judgment. But she was certainly something of a drunken mess gambling on this grimy, poverty-stricken lifestyle of a new comedian – which has given her plenty of ribald stories of sloppy nights out and their awful consequences, which we can enjoy either vicariously or with a sense of superiority. 

Her idea to elevate the Edinburgh show beyond well trodden coming-of-age fodder was to track down her errant ex to try to get some closure on the relationship. This only led to more setbacks, but then this absorbing story starts to take a different, more powerful, turn.

Without going into too much detail, just know that Pattison starts to tackle her anxieties head-on, making Lady Muck into a joyous, life-affirming, empowering yarn that will send you out with an elated heart. For there’s potency to some of her material, as she starts to challenge those forces that would keep her down, and the sexism that’s usually behind them. 

Yet even when packing a punch, her demeanour is breezy, frank and friendly, making her wickedly engaging company. You can certainly tell how Pattison got her Masters in drama, for she has the storytelling skills to draw the audience into her life and take us on an emotional journey with her. 

Some of the anecdotes, even the jokes, appear long and winding, but we are always spellbound, which means the punchlines have a weighty impact when they do land. The hour is beautifully packaged with its light and shade, slow-dawning epiphany and no-nonsense take-me-as-I-am attitude – so much more than the initially simple initial premise suggests.

Edinburgh newcomers are often spoken about for the potential they display, but Pattison – a previous finalist in the BBC New Comedy and Chortle Student awards – has produced a thoroughly assured debut that proves her to a fully-equipped comedian already.

Review date: 14 Aug 2017
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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