Jackie Clune is Bitchin', The Scotsman Assembly, Assembly Rooms

All the fun of the filth
Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Jackie Clune has changed. She may be struggling to put her finger on the point when she repudiated her "devout lesbianism", but it could have been while watching a video of the guests at her 30th birthday celebrations, which reminded her of "the Mitchell brothers' first appearance on EastEnders". But in the past year, the feisty 35-year-old singer/comedienne has acquired (and ditched) her first boyfriend. A gay Yorkshireman, admittedly, but nobody's perfect, and as she says, deadpan as Jo Brand, "Gay men make excellent boyfriends. They're clean, good cooks and, of course, they're frightened of you." Could such a concession to the world of breeders see her finally break through beyond the cult status she's held for so long?

Judging by the response tonight from an audience including couples of all persuasions, the answer has to be a resounding "yes". This wonderfully, offhandedly filthy hour of songs and stand-up was as entertaining as anything I've seen so far this year. From her excruciatingly insincere attempts at glad-handing hapless punters (just don't defend Ally McBeal, should she seek your opinion) to the encore of her Franglais tribute to the inimitable Céline Dion (the word "cheval" crops up, inevitably), it's an unmitigated delight.

Not that the new Jackie makes any concessions to traditional social mores, such as giving a damn about other people. No, as the show's title suggests, her recent experiences have toughened her up, and led her to discover the virtues of singlehood – but she's still bested in arguments by eight-year-old girls. They probably share the same musical tastes, though, for her fling has left her with a taste for chart music.

Her victims include the inescapable S Club 7 ("Free the S Club 7"), a revelatory exposition of the homoeroticism present in the work of Steps, andold favourite "Gary Fatboy Fat Barlow". You'll just have to imagine her version of Atomic Kitten's "Whole Again", if you can bear it. Her own Christmas song sounds like a winner to me, especially if she finds the right minimum-wage slaves to front it.

Songs, jokes, a winning way with a crowd – she's the polysexual, post-PC, smutty Victoria Wood. Mums will love her, dads will laugh nervously. Make this woman a star.

Venue 3 (0131-226 2428) to 27 Aug (not 13 or 20) 19.20 (20.30)

Comments