Diane Spencer: Power Tool (3 stars)

This article is from 2015

Diane Spencer: Power Tool

A quality show about selling your soul takes a while to get going

Diane Spencer has a pretty excellent anecdote about the time she sold her soul to pay for radiators in her newly bought flat. Although she dearly wanted to turn down the gig, Spencer, skint and cold, found herself penning a one-woman play for Nancy Dell’Olio for last year’s Fringe. The show (titled Rainbows from Diamonds, as Spencer cringingly recalls) was described by The Guardian as ‘jaw-droppingly bizarre’, partly because Dell’Olio hadn’t bothered to learn her lines, and kept getting stuck in bejewelled catsuits during the costume changes.

But out of that disastrous flop, not to mention the surreal ordeal it was for Spencer to work with Dell’Olio, the comic has found a quality show of her own. Spencer’s impersonations (of the PVC-loving lawyer being arsey, Italian and delusional, or Sven Göran-Eriksson being simpering, Swedish and bland) are particularly good, especially when she adds them to ridiculous glove puppets for the show’s climax.

That said, it takes a while for the show to get warmed up, and there’s a good 20 minutes of safer, girlier material about loving kittens and crying lots before she switches into weirder, more interesting territory where she really starts to shine.

Gilded Balloon, 622 6552, until 31 Aug (not 12), 6.45pm, £9–£9.50 (£8–£8.50).

Diane Spencer: Power Tool

  • 3 stars

Diane's had a bit of a weird year and you get to hear all about it (involves a meeting with Nancy Dell'Olio at the Ivy …) in her dark, witty way.