As part of Glasgow International Comedy Festival 2018
Glasgow’s Oran Mor is packed for a third consecutive night as the buzzing crowd eagerly awaits local comedian Janey Godley, and we are already warmed up by her comical PA announcement. It becomes apparent that most of the mixed audience is already familiar with the Scottish star as they raucously applaud her entrance on stage and the cheerful spirit lasts the night.
Godley has been performing for decades now, both on home turf and much further afield (New Zealand, Los Angeles) and some of her unbelievable and hilarious stories are taken from such travels, including a cracking recount of an LA bus ride and a Louis Theroux documentary-worthy anecdote of a visit to the celebrity Scientology centre. No matter where her comedy has taken her, though, Godley’s utter charm is rooted in her Glaswegian nature: quick-witted, shrewd, outspoken, ballsy and always ready to stand up for the underdog.
She fires out expletives freely but it’s never contrived or a tool for a quick laugh; it’s part of her colloquial speech and is exactly what the audience laps up. Because despite the audacious nature of some of the stories Godley regales us with, it’s the likability-factor that the crowd respond to most. And this isn’t an easy or accidental feat to achieve. The raconteur is masterful in blending a down-to-earth sensibility with cleverly constructed stories and perfectly-timed punchlines. It makes sense when she tells us she used to own a pub in the East End of Glasgow: despite having, no doubt, told these jokes night after night on stage, we all feel like we’re sitting at a bar listening to the best and maddest stories of the funniest person in the room.
The show —titled Revelations of Godley —also has a thematic focus. The comic talks us through several personal realisations she’s come to recently and is an advocate for the voice of women, particularly with regards to sexual harassment and abuse. Despite the religious connotations of the show’s title, though, it’s never preachy; only passionate. And of course, brilliantly funny.
After the hour and twenty minute show, the Oran Mor crowd could probably continue listening to Godley all night. She has had us in hysterics throughout and since we now all feel we’ve made a new pal, will surely be coming back to see her again soon.