Jo Caulfield: Cancel My Subscription
Comedian channels Joan Rivers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
Jo Caulfield is a professional snide; an acid-tongued, quick-witted moaner. Haughtiness and faux-disdain, or what used to just be called ‘bad manners’, are her stock-in-trade. She’s unabashedly obnoxious, with a stash of good punchlines and stories to keep her crowd onside, and she knows when they need to be chucked in.
Despite living in Edinburgh for three years, Caulfield’s show (her first since 2012), still sounds like she’s just dropped into Scotchland for the first time from far-flung lands: high cholesterol! Alcoholism! Violence! Oh my! After ticking off the mandatory boxes from the stand-up-for-Fringe-crowds checklist (what Jo, no deep-fried Mars Bars jokes?), she progresses onto referendum talk. She confesses that this is not easy for her to do, given that judgmental Scots seem to only hear a frightfully posh, maid-hiring, tea-drinking, Highland-Clearing Tory talking when she opens her mouth.
English / Scottish differences segue into hackneyed men / women differences, but her confessions to being a hotel-room robbing, crossword-cheating, husband-embarrassing lush work much better. Caulfield’s style of man-bashing seems anachronistic at points (the female equivalent of the ‘take my wife!’ gags), but she’s at her caustic best channelling Joan Rivers, dancing the line between being an impish shit-stirrer and bitter sociopath.
The Stand, 558 7272, until 24 Aug (not 11), 7.05pm, £10 (£9).