Janey Godley greets her audience as they arrive and proceeds to arrange them into the ample Ballroom like unruly toddlers at the cheapest crèche in Scotland. Bellowing helpful instructions across the room you wonder where the venue staff are and why other acts don’t capitalise on this early opportunity for a performer to stamp their authority on a room.
Once settled Godley launches into her familiar Glesga patter zeroing in on those in the audience who share her life experiences. She revels in recounting a time before health and safety and pesky nonsense like anxiety and allergies cluttered the social zeitgeist where ‘bairns wid be pit oot o the hoose and telt tae come back at fower.’ Said bairns could, on occasion knock the door of a neighbour and offer to take their baby for a walk in their pram.
Having effortlessly rattled through some dangerous nostalgia and an analysis of the usefulness of the menopausal woman in a combat zone she has a smart little anecdote about her dad’s time in care home. She manages to convincingly portray a man who shared her humour by pretending to be smothered by a pillow in a confusingly (for the staff) tender moment of banter.
The set is rounded off with a prearranged collection of clips to allow Godley to overdub celebrity voices. This popular Twitter feature involves such notable individuals as Donald and Ivanka Trump, Nicola Sturgeon but most successful of all Theresa May as a fed up ‘wummin planning a trip to Torremolinos wi big Janice tae dae sum Karaoke’. ‘Ah hate yis aw!’ bellows May as she storms out of the Commons in a particularly appropriate moment of voicing.
Less successful are her near-aborted attempts to make Ivanka anymore than a blonde prop who likes cats and some actual footage from Butlins holiday camp which can only be present since it reflects the period discussed earlier. This is also a useful reminder to everyone that this is Free Fringe but that shouldn’t negate the fact that Godley is one of it’s most confident and polished popular performers.