Friday, 22 August 2008

Fringe Review - Lucy Porter: The Bare Necessities, Pleasance One, 19/08/2008

The unique selling point of Lucy Porter has always been her cute, bubbly, sweet demeanour allied to a vicious tongue and a filthy mind. This year she has overloaded on the cute, performing her show in front of a backdrop featuring a kitten and two ducklings. It provides her with a nice sight gag, but sadly it may also be symptomatic of something else.

Porter's humour has always relied heavily on her disastrous love life, but this year she is happily settled and in a relationship, and this seems to have spilled over into her humour, because there is just something lacking here. Her biting wit seems to be just that little bit lacking in bite for once, almost as if, having reached the level where she can sell out the three and four hundred seater venues, she's settled back and decided to coast for a while.

Not that this show is bad, exactly. It is an entertaining hour, and Porter is still capable of delivering a few absolute killer punchlines during its course. And her theme could not be more timely in this year of belt tightening, as she tackles the subject of identifying the things that are essential to us in life for our own happiness and wellbeing, and divesting ourselves of all the extraneous frivolities.

But it all seems a little flat. The laughs are there, but they are fewer and further between and separated by an awful lot of filler. If this were your first experience of Porter you might find yourself wondering why so many had come to pack out the room. It's a decent enough show, but pales by comparison with some of her previous triumphs.

Still, Lucy may be diminuitive of stature, but she is fiesty of nature, and I'm sure this is just a minor blip in what is an otherwise excellent CV and that next year she will bounce back with the kind of quality we have come to expect.

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