Lucy Porter - People Person (2 stars)

All sugar no spice: naughtiness and grit lacking from nice girl performance

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This article is from 2012.

Lucy Porter

Yes, yes: it’s easy to knock the nice girl act. But as her fans will attest, that’s exactly what Lucy Porter is. Far from ripping off the shackles of her ‘lovely wee lass’ persona, Porter embraces it with People Person. Back on the Fringe scene after a two-year hiatus knocking out a pair of babies in ‘one tax year,’ Porter has no problem living up to the show’s nicey nice moniker.

As she works her hit-and-miss material about how to find new friends in her thirties and her recent foray into motherhood, the diminutive comic’s impish charms are certainly in residence. But while her quick wit and easy rapport with the audience is strong and her likeability plain to see (well honed from her Mock the Week and Radio 4 days), in terms of laugh-out-loud funnies, Porter leaves you wanting.

There are seeds of some decent material here, not least when Porter is letting go on the subjects people can really relate to: the loneliness of motherhood, the physical aftermath of giving birth, the banality of ‘grown up’ conversations. In fact, she is at her best when cast slightly adrift. And as the show progresses, there’s a feeling of a layer being stripped back.

She could, do ‘a whole show’ on Richard Madeley from her days working with him on telly, she announces with a knowing grin (do it, do it!), while her reference to Russell Kane as ‘fanny wrap’ gets one of the biggest laughs of her teatime slot. But any edginess is quickly blunted by a swift retreat to safer territory about Argos and baby/parent groups. There’s little doubt that the strangely affecting pay-off about new friend Sophie is worth the wait, but this show lacks the comedy spice that could have made it a little naughty, as well as nice.

The Stand, 558 7272, until 26 Aug (not 13, 20), 5.15pm, £10 (£9).

This article is from 2012.

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