Review: Wicked Wenches, The Stand

Compere JoJo Sutherland quickly discovered the crowd was a cosmopolitan one
Compere JoJo Sutherland quickly discovered the crowd was a cosmopolitan one
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****

The stormy Scottish weather led to a late reshuffle in the line-up for this month’s Wicked Wenches. However, the dreadful weather didn’t stop a decent and, as genial compere JoJo Sutherland quickly discovered, cosmopolitan crowd blowing in for a fun-packed evening at the Stand.

First up to shoot the breeze was Ruth Cockburn. Stuff about the perils of choosing your Brazilian (not as in people, she helpfully clarified) and being a rubbish taker of drugs was good. With her striking punky hairstyle fresh material, it was a little surprising to find the act let down really only by the fact that Cockburn was self-effacing to a fault.

Elaine Devlin does what is hopefully character comedy as the Jeremy Kyle-era suburban matriarch determined to deter her teenage sons from becoming teenagers for as long as she can. It’s fairly filthy, with plenty of nice comedic ideas to keep it all frothing along. Difficult to give a repeatable quote, but the hand-knitted “snatchel” was a particularly memorable prop.

Katie Mulgrew provided a change of pace from the smuttier stuff, with things about accents, being ID’d buying de-icer and some light touch class and gender politics. Quite an engaging ramble, albeit one in which a couple of proper good jokes maybe got a little buried.

Janey Godley wasn’t on the initial bill but it’s hard to imagine anyone better to have blown away the post Hogmanay hangover. After liberally and hilariously watering down the enthusiasm of Edinburgh’s New Year revellers and panda fans, she mines unexpected and brilliant comedy gold in Asperger’s, sectarianism and familial abuse in a way in which no male comedian could possibly get away with and which, accordingly, can’t be quoted here. It was by no means perfect, but very few comics could lose the room with one Fritzl gag too many and win them back with class war upon themselves.

So, until she’s next on, keep on being cheery for the tourists as she suggests and then, when they’re not looking, do go and see Janey Godley, giving Wicked Wenches a good name.