Susan Calman: Maybe It Is Your Fault, The Stand, Edinburgh
Thursday 21 August 2008
As a former corporate lawyer who has broken free of professional shackles and is now not afraid to say what she thinks, I expected more insight from the Glaswegian comic Susan Calman. Her debut Fringe show does indicate that she has a forceful persona, without being overbearing, and she tries to give her jokes oomph.
We find out that she likes chicken in white sauce, a guilty pleasure that she must hide from her vegetarian girlfriend and one that comes second to the "compromise meals" that couples have to agree on.
Compromise is not normally a word in Calman's vocabulary, but her new-found liberty of expression is not given free enough rein to attack the things on her "hate list". Such a list is a known exercise on comedy courses; whether or not Calman is a graduate of one of them, she is occasionally guilty of "comedy by numbers". The things that she doesn't like she either wants to shoot or hit, and thus her gags can be literal punchlines and hence lack finesse.
There are bright moments, however – she describes being kicked out of WeightWatchers for opening a tuck shop, for example – and ultimately Calman is a better comic than this show would suggest.
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