Fringe Review – Lucy Porter, Choose Your Battles (rating: 4/5)
In an age of sweary, raucous comedians there’s always been something comforting about Lucy Porter. She eases her audience into a routine that isn’t likely to cause them to clasp their ears in embarrassment, or keel over in shock.
That said, she slips in the odd quip about bodily parts that might redden the faces of the older generation among them. This show was attended by a couple of hundred who were overwhelmingly in the forty, fifty or even seventy-plus bracket. If knowing your audience is a key to sending them home satisfied then best to leave the really mucky stuff to another night and another group.
Of course, some of them – and a show of hands revealed a number of returners – may have seen Porter’s debut at the Underbelly in 2003 when, just out of her twenties, she was part of the edgy up and coming acts of the period. A little more of that would not have had anyone rushing for the exit at this show.
Porter’s new act, Choose Your Battles, is based around her life since 2009 as a wife and now as a mother. As such it is gentle, mumsy humour about kids and cats, though at times a little predictable, drawing on class cliches and anecdotes that might prompt a snigger around the dinner table but went on a bit without really having much of a punchline. I felt the audience willing her to be a bit more adventurous.
The show really got going in the second half with a couple of audience participation votes around the themes of spelling and social media that were directed at the age group and their expectations. This was not only more up to date, it was also funnier.
The audience arrives to find bags of crisps on stage and the reason is revealed at the end in one of the best gags of the night. If leaving your audience wanting more is also a key to satisfaction then this certainly worked.
Lucy Porter, Choose Your Battles, Pleasance Courtyard, 2nd-27th August