Elis James - Speaking As a Mother … (3 stars)

This article is from 2012

Elis James - Speaking As a Mother …

A gathering of bad experiences in a charming and disorganised show

Apologising to his fans, Elis James warns he’s changed style from his usual long-form storytelling to observational comedy because he wants to buy a house.

It’s a lie. From an hilarious opening story about the worst gig in his life, to being ‘song-raped’ by a chav on a train, James’ set is dressed head to toe in delightfully constructed anecdotes, all dripping with heady authenticity. Part of his charm is the way he feverously takes on the various characters inhabiting his stories. Over a slow-burning and sometimes disorganised show, James demonstrates a knack for impersonations that really brings his stories to life. He works hard for his hour, earning enough goodwill to gloss over numerous slip-ups, some of which he exploits to good effect.

He’s a profoundly genial raconteur and his gathering of bad experiences is likely to fill the most sympathetic soul with schadenfreude. The tale of how he impersonated a teen heartthrob’s girlfriend on Twitter suggests a degree of masochism for his art which may explain his penchant for indiscretion. Long may that continue.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 27 Aug, 7pm, £10--£12 (£8.50--£10.50).

Elis James: Speaking As a Mother …

  • 3 stars

Speaking As a Mother… is the fourth solo show from one of Britain's finest emerging talents. Combining storytelling, characters and straight stand-up with the charming delivery that has made James such a favourite on the British comedy circuit, Elis James' Speaking As a Mother… will cement him firmly on the list of ones…

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