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Comedy: Lucy Porter: Fool’s Gold

Lucy Porter is a comedian who has been on the comedy scene for quite a while now, but I hadn’t seen one of her full shows, even though she has been making appearances on television in the likes of Annually Retentive and Mock The Week. I enjoy comedians who put some thought into doing full shows with a theme, so I was looking forward to seeing Porter when she brought her show, Fool’s Gold, to the Bloomsbury Theatre.

I felt sorry when we got into the theatre for the performance because it was only about half full – I’m not sure if this is an indictment of Porter or because it was a university theatre in the Easter holidays. My sympathy levels were increased immediately. She came on to the stage first, which confused me because I thought she had a support act; it turned out she did have a support act whom she was introducing, but she used the time to set the scene for herself and the show and do some audience interaction. I was worried when she started talking to people in the crowd because I really don’t care for comedians who ridicule their audience instead of actual material. However, this was not the case – it was a genuine case of talking to people, making them part of the show, no mocking at all. A good start.

The support act then came onto the stage but I can’t recall his name because he didn’t seem to be ready for prime time – he did about 20 minutes of ordinary material; he didn’t die on his arse but he didn’t tell any great jokes or linger long in the memory, hence why I can’t remember his name.

After a break, it was time for the main show: Lucy Porter doing a revised version of her Edinburgh show, Fool’s Gold – it had originally been about how she didn’t like gold because of its connection to commitment, something she was averse to and never thought she would never get married. However, she completely ruined that by getting married and wearing a white gold ring on her finger (in her words). Therefore, the show was perhaps a slightly different version.

The show covered a variety of topics to do with gold, such as alchemists and chemistry (including a poem about chemical elements where we had to guess how many had been mentioned), as well as Porter’s personal interaction with gold, based on a piece of jewellery given to her by her staunch Catholic grandmother, what it had meant to her and her relationship with her family and growing up in Croydon and religion, as well as her new relationship with gold and her husband. There were jokes as well – there is much discussion about the difference between male and female comedians and their material; this was storytelling with humorous asides, rather than feedline/punchline big jokes, something I enjoy when it’s done well. Porter had good stories to tell, with a good sense of humour and a great delivery – it’s a soft-spoken delivery but sharp and confident, completely at home in the theatre and no sense of any problems with performing to a smaller audience. It wasn’t the greatest comedy show I’ve ever seen, but it was very enjoyable and I laughed, which is what you want; I only wish she hadn’t been in such a rush to get to the end and out by 10pm.

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