Louise Leigh is that classic comedy triple (not-really-much-of-a-)threat: middle-class, middle-aged and, it’s fair to say, middle-of-the-road. Hers is a safe and familiar style, but Identifiable is none the worse for being, well, identifiable. Leigh’s a polished, sparky performer, able to energise a room, even a sweaty Counting House Loft at 10.30 in the morning, with routines on motherhood, self-image and knocking on a bit.
The two pillars of her set are the two personas she has doing battle in her head. One is what she perceives to be the perfect mother and woman, a vlogger she calls Candida McHubris, with an irritatingly just-so life. We’ve already learned from a hilarious opening sequence what Leigh would like to do to people who call their children Clytemnestra, so we know there’s a tension between her envy and hatred of a woman like that.
The other – her real underlying self – is a ditzy fool called Susan, who Leigh personifies by sticking a “proboscis” (tights with socks balled into the end) on her head and goofing around. It sets up some visual gags and audience interaction that add variety to the set.
Elsewhere, we get a well-acted leg shaving routine as she gets ready for a dirty weekend with her husband, a rant about the conflicts inherent in what women “should” do (like pluck their eyebrows AND draw them on) and a re-creation of getting her kids ready to go out. The latter’s another comedy standard, but her nerve-stretched breakdown is very amusing – she’s a dynamic performer. The crowd are onside, even a young chap down the front whose age we don’t learn but she guesses (“Fifteen for the cinema, twelve for the zoo?”) She fusses her dirty weekend material might be a bit much for him and his folks, but the show’s mildly risque at most.
Firmly in the mainstream then, but there’s little wrong with this observational hour in the company of a lively host. A fine way to start a Fringe day.