Comedians mentioning reviewers in their sets is never a particularly good omen. Lou Sanders name-checks us lot three times in the first forty minutes and the reason for it soon becomes apparent – unhappy with her original hour, the former Taskmaster champion is in the process of re-jigging it. It’s never an easy task and there are clunky moments when she forgets her next line or informs us that she’s leaving the next bit out.
Her signature intimate, confessional style – the rapport she has with the audience that worked so well in last year’s much-acclaimed Shame Pig – has been lost. This feels uncomfortably like a work in progress. It’s pity because there’s some super-funny stuff in here, but it’s just a tad too pick ‘n’ mix at the moment. Tales from Tinder and her efforts to wean herself off young skateboarders and find an age-appropriate partner are the best bits, along with some beautifully-reconstructed conversations with her healer, Jill in the Pyrenees, who sounds like a proper riot.
The family nostalgia material works less well, and her decision to sing a folk song that they used to listen to on car journeys when she was a nipper is, well, weird. Lou informs the audience that she’s been using a recording up until now because singing makes her feel incredibly vulnerable. She then proceeds to turn her back on the audience and sing a few bars of an extremely unfunny ditty about hunting dogs. It’s random and confusing, and I think that pretty much sums up what’s wrong with this show. A ramble round Lou Sanders’ brain is never a bad thing, but when she’s fully focused, it’s a far better trip. It’s a shame, but as Jill in the Pyrenees might put it, the chakras just didn’t align this time, baby.
Lou Sanders : Say Hello To Your New Step-Mummy, Monkey Barrel Comedy July 31- Aug 25, 3.15pm.