Lizzie Bates: Reprobates (3 stars)

This article is from 2014


An expertly-assembled coven of characters populate the erstwhile Boom Jenny's Edinburgh Fringe solo show

The audience become Lizzie Bates’ co-stars, foils and props in this solo sketch show, from one third of London comedy trio, The Boom Jennies. Bates has expertly assembled a small coven of hellish women to bring to Edinburgh – mostly utter nightmares, generally quite posh, usually with a whiff of white wine and desperation about them.

Presumably playing around with the name of the room that she’s in (one of the Pleasance’s Bunkers) Bates greets the crowd as they trickle in with shrill, shouted orders. She is ‘bunker entertainment officer’, in what is presumably a WW2 Anderson shelter. Her prim, bossy ways soon morph into a Cockney mumzilla, fiercely coaching her tiny son through a very important boxing match. Next, Janelle is a stalkerish, skittish girl from the marketing department, completely imagining flirty advances from her boss, and there’s also a lost ‘yummy mummy’ cyclist, running late for the ‘Tots Who Tap’ class she teaches, after getting sidetracked by organic comté and amphetamines.

Although not all of the sketches work, when they do, Bates channels Alison Steadman’s nasally hostess in Abigail’s Party or Sybil Fawlty, if Sybil ever found herself drunk and trying to force a wife-swap in a paddling pool.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 25 Aug, 3pm, £9–10 (£8–9).

Lizzie Bates: Reprobates

  • 3 stars

Lizzie Bates Riotous character comedy from Bafta Rocliffe winner 2013 and member of critically-acclaimed sketch group The Boom Jennies (BBC Radio 4). Meet Paula, who won't get out of her neighbour's hot tub for love nor money, Hildegard, the Swiss finishing school mistress with a fetish for fast food, and Judith, the…