Fringe comedy shows often come with a hard-hitting take-home message. Susan Riddell’s is an important one: the Dalai Lama is a prick.
But wait – what’s the kindly old-timer done to deserve such condemnation? Well, that’s for Riddell to explain, but suffice to say, his positivity doesn’t go down well in her neck of the woods. (That neck of the woods being back in Glasgow, after an Edinburgh move with her boyfriend didn’t work out – possibly due to her ineffectual response to the couple’s mouse infestation).
Riddell’s life isn’t bad. She certainly hasn’t got any big trauma she can mine for her comedy show (although that doesn’t stop her trying to milk minor ailments). It’s just not great, you know? It’s not her ‘best life’. She’s back on dating apps where the men are various shades of faker, she’s stuck co-parenting a dog with an ex, she’s envious of couples because she misses a good argument. Minor struggles, she realises; she could just do without the motivational quotes trying to inspire them away.
These topics are all at one with Riddell’s style. Her dating requirements are a man who can ‘bang me and make me laugh’ and her comedy similarly doesn’t beat around the bush. Things are chatty and informal. The highest tech it gets is a sparkly flip chart presentation she put together with stuff from Hobbycraft. She hands out a copy of her show poster with permission to take it home for a wank. There’s no airs and graces here.
And it’s all good craic. It never threatens to surprise with wild invention, but nor does it need to. Woman, mic, funny anecdotes – what more do you need? Well, perhaps a mindfulness session to close out the evening, though with Riddell planting images in our head, finding inner calm proves hard. It’s been a good hour in good company. Ironically, cheery seeming chap that he is, the Dalai Lama would probably love it.