Lucy Porter’s Love In, Festival Fringe review

It’s rare that I enjoy female comedians’ solo shows, I’m not sure why. The only female comic who has really made me laugh is Joan Rivers. Unfortunately Lucy Porter’s Love In show at Edinburgh’s Pleasance Courtyard was no exception. I found Lucy Porter an endearing stage presence, who gave a fluent performance. However it lacked bite. It lacked punchlines.

Lucy Porter's Love In Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme insert

Never during Lucy Porter’s Love In did I find myself spontaneously laughing or becoming absorbed by the show. There were plenty of audience members who this show did appeal to though, so it is by no means bad; some will call it excellent; some will find it very funny. I can still recognise the show was decent, but if asked to give a rating I could go no higher than a distinctly average three stars from five.

Lucy Porter is now playing on the biggest stage of her Edinburgh Festival Fringe career. Her Love In show is on at the Pleasance Courtyard’s Pleasance One venue. I don’t particularly like Pleasance One. It seems too formal, with the raised stage, and dilutes the acts; I thought this was evident at Simon Amstell’s and Mark Watson’s shows. Lucy has some props, namely enormous illuminated letters stating “LOVE” and a prize cabinet, containing strange furry toys and inflatables. If I could describe the show in one word it would be “fluffy”.

Topics of Lucy Porter’s Love In included her obsessive compulsion, theme tunes she sings to mundane daily events and the obligatory single life/dating/fake tan. The show ended with Lucy asking the audience to close their eyes and vote with their hands in the air should, after listening to a mildly amusing story, they think Lucy’s behaviour was ‘bonkers’ or ‘balanced’.

There was other interaction with the audience. A middle aged couple on the front row were chosen to play another quiz with Lucy where they had to guess the name of a song, from slightly adjusted lyrics. The woman spoke for her boyfriend saying “He’s shy because he always gets chosen”. Well, that’s what tends to happen when you purposefully choose to sit on the front row right in front of the microphone. Anyhow, their tactic seemed to work as they got a mention and Lucy took pity on them: giving the guy a sympathetic box of chocolates. Unappealing stuff.

Some jokes, like the friend who felt she was being persecuted were decent in imagination and concept. But the execution made the punchline too transparent: over explained and emphasised. The Love In show was fairly predictable and somewhat formulaic for the most part. It was performed at a laid back, relaxed pace; ressemblent of a one woman show with some humour, rather than a pure comedic performance. More punchlines and more punch in their delivery was needed.

Again, Lucy Porter’s Love In is not a bad show, but it’s a rather safe script the comedian delivered, leaving me unfulfilled at the end. The show lacked innovation: it was a mash up of much I’d heard before. The gauntlet I would lay down to Lucy is to do something different, something innovative and something to remember next time. Please.

Lucy Porter’s Love In show is on at Edinburgh’s Pleasance Courtyard until 27th August 2007.

The Edinburgh Blog will soon be reviewing Pete Firman, Playing Burton and Frank Skinner.

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