Less a gig, more a gathering of the faithful, Janey Godley’s gobby, good-hearted Glaswegian bluster goes down a storm in the Counting House Ballroom. It doesn’t so much start, as gradually wind up into action. Godley seemingly knows a fair chunk of the audience, dishing out hugs and welcomes. Half a dozen folks are invited on stage to plug their own shows. Her door staff are given a warm hand. “This is what the Fringe is all about” [cue much clapping]. You’d say it’s the comedy version of Sturgeonmania, if you weren’t likely to get an earful for your troubles.
Latecomers are welcomed in as friends. “Come on in darlin’, sit yer arse doon on that chair.” “Nice blue sweater, bet yer sweatin’ like Gary Glitter on a bouncy castle.” And then we’re given six or seven stories from a woman whose mother was murdered, whose husband is from a family of gangsters and who ran a Glasgow East End pub for fifteen years. There isn’t much she’ll hold back from.
Godley is frequently very funny and filthy. Bending over to be raped by a sex offender who has locked her in his basement is just the half of it. She utterly demolishes Fifty Shades of Grey, with the casual confidence of a woman who’s seen everything.
Much of what she says is brilliantly barbed. There’s an extremely vicious, but hilarious and probably fully warranted take down of Michelle Mone. A rail journey has her railing at “Cherry Cords”, a man from the red-trousered fraternity. And there’s feminism at it’s pragmatic, no-nonsense best, not the sort “invented two years ago by an English comedian” (although if you do like your feminism this way, inevitably you have to take your men as simple sex-and-food obsessed DIY machines too.)
Every story’s accompanied by belly-laughs, every story concludes with applause (a lot of applause), and she’s the only comedian yet this Fringe who’s acknowledged her audience may not all be flash Harries and Harriets. Doing her end-of-show, money-in-the-bucket appeal: “If you can’t afford it, don’t you worry. If you got pals using food banks, tell them they can come here for a free show.” It’s not polished, it’s not “professional”, but she’s right: this is what the Fringe is all about.