Suzi Ruffell: Common (4 stars)

A warm and honest portrayal of working-class life in a middle-class world

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Suzi Ruffell: Common

There are plenty cards to play at the Fringe: the race one, the heartbroken one, and the dead dad one for three. Although this London comedian drops in two biggies for her new stand-up show (namely being working class and a lesbian), it comes across as far more than a calculated ploy to get a crowd onside. Rather than disingenuously ingratiating herself with a show titled Common, and occupying a niche space in an overwhelmingly middle-class scene, it really feels like Suzi Ruffell is just telling her story so far, and doing it very well too.

She introduces her parents from Portsmouth, 'a proper geezer' who borrowed a Rolls Royce to drive his baby daughter home from the hospital to their council flat, and 'a Pompey bird' in clashing animal prints. Becoming a stand-up has made Ruffell middle class (or 'little wanker socks' as her grandad would put it), but she still knows the score, and gets 'the hump' in elitist, showbiz situations.

Warm, honest and plenty funny, her chatty tales of being a 'massive gay', getting her head round NHS cuts, her dad's brushes with jail, and an impending wedding make her delivery anything but run of the mill.

Just the Tonic at the Mash House, until 28 Aug, 8.20pm, £6 (£5) or Pay What You Want.

Suzi Ruffell: Common

  • 4 stars

Off The Kerb Productions Dodgy fireworks, crackpot schemes, and some questionable slang – Suzi Ruffell is common. Pour yourself a vodka, pop on your leopard print and explore, with this ‘always excellent’ (Time Out) storyteller, what it is to be working class. A hysterical, shocking and crash-hot new show.

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