- Claire Sawers
- 17 August 2011
This article is from 2011.
Has the Geordie jester lost her bite?
After TV stints on Mock the Week, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and Loose Women, Geordie chatterbox Sarah Millican is a household name to many now, just three short years after her Fringe debut. The steep upswing in her career means she’s relocated to the Assembly Hall and a status-confirmed shorter run. And about a minute into her cuddly set, someone in her packed-out, 750-strong crowd blurts an excited, ‘We love you!’ in her direction.
There is clearly a lot of love in the room. And it’s hard not to adore someone as chummy and next-door-neighbourly as the self-effacing, Twix-loving, diet-abandoning Millican. ‘Wander round Asda – there are thousands of me!’ she shrugs, after describing herself as ‘a middle-aged woman, wittering on.’ But while she’s made a name for herself with her gentle domestic blethers, and salt-of-the-earth observations, there are signs things may have become a little too cosy and settled chez Millican, taking some of the edge off her patter.
That 2008 debut was called Sarah Millican’s Not Nice, where she hid a wickedly funny streak behind a sweet cupcake-and-teapot veneer. Recently divorced, she seemed to aim her warm rants at fellow angsty thirtysomethings, and it won her the if.comedy Best Newcomer Award. Now, she seems to be talking to that audience’s parents. Gags about Jackie Collins, snoring partners, central heating, duvet stealing and doing the dishes prevent her material from breaking into fresh, more exciting territory, and keep it firmly grounded in the housewifey pigeonhole she has nestled into.
A natural storyteller, with charm by the family-sized trolley load, her safe and sensible approach might make sense in the theme-park analogy she makes, but it feels as though it’s slammed the brakes on her obvious comedy talents.
Assembly Hall, 623 3030, until 28 Aug, 7.30pm, £14–£16 (£13–£15).