One of the many line-up shows at the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, the straightforwardly-titled Funny Lassies brings together five female comics in the side room of The Griffin off Sauchiehall Street. And a straightforwardly enjoyable evening it is too, with good vibes flowing between audience and performers.
Natalie Sweeney is apparently hosting for the first time, though you wouldn’t know it. She comes across as a skilled MC. In a bill of mixed experience, she’s a steady hand on the tiller, keeping energy high and rallying support for the less sure of themselves. There’s decent gags of her own too, although by coincidence she uses one about her bisexuality being “greedy” that’s the same as Amelia Bayler has just used across town at McPhabbs.
Susan Riddell makes a formidable opener for the others to follow, a finalist in Funny Women 2017, and it’s clear why. She’s fearless and quick with the audience work and ready with self put downs about the baggy casual wear she’s in. There’s an extended gag about genital hygiene which is well-honed, yet delivered as if she’s making it up on the spot. She’s sharp and no mistake.
That dumps poor Michaela Hunter in it, following someone who’s on Avalon‘s books on only her second gig, but she shapes up well. Nerves are understandably showing, but there’s nothing wrong with her material, which includes poking fun at her pink hair and short stature. A little more stage time will see her right.
Shona Lawson (aka Lady Shona) begs forgiveness for some ring-rustiness, back doing a straight set after a long time MCing. The apology’s not necessary. Her mother-daughter material works nicely. Central Belt-ers could do worse than checking out her regular nights in Livingston and at Behind The Wall in Falkirk.
Then after a short break, headliner is Lubna Kerr, who wraps material about age and culture into a Pakistani Mrs Merton persona. It’s quite a 90s/00s approach and not necessarily the most effective strategy. It would be interesting to see her step out from behind the character and retool the material to fit her own voice. Auntie Gee does get a warm response though, and is at one with the fairly light tone of the evening.
Lop-sided format aside, this evening of Funny Lassies works well and no-one, on stage or off it, leaves disappointed.