Lucy Porter: People Person, The Stand, Edinburgh Festival

 

After getting pregnant “twice in the same tax year” the always glowing Lucy Porter returns to the Edinburgh Fringe after a two year absence - a long break by the standards of this petite comic’s big appetite for the festival.

Since she last graced the stage, Porter has revaluated how she relates to people. Pregnancy has made her realise how difficult it is to make new friends, at least compared to the drunken camaraderie of her twenties: “In your thirties your friends just disappear. I don’t mean they die, they all move to Birmingham - which is worse.”

Moreover, Porter realises that stand up has trained her to see interaction as a one-sided affair. This has left her wanting to respond to anything she deems as stupid as she would a heckler, especially to people who coo over her pregnant state.

Consequently the 39 year old finds herself watching a lot more of “cockney Gollum” Dom Littlewood’s TV programmes than she would like, and analysing the product reviews left on the Argos website (AA batteries: “an excellent source of power”), believing them to be a better measurement of humanity than social media ever could be.

Porter’s story starts and ends with the making of a new friend, a development that has a great twist and provides for a great denouement. However, it seems that there is no substitute for spending time with a crowd on her terms, and she tells her audience: “With two kids under two years old at home, I think this is the most relaxed I am going to be.”

Certainly Porter is relaxed and chatty on stage, and her jokes are so lightly cast that they are almost all delivered as asides. Her emphasis is often scene setting, careful to let us know the who, why and what of every story so we feel her anecdotes are inclusive.

Choosing The Stand, a venue maintaining a fierce independence from the fray of the “big four” venues on the other side Edinburgh’s North Bridge, is now often a performer’s way of saying: “I’m all grown up”. This stance would seem to fit Porter’s profile now, what with her marriage (to fellow comedian Justin Edwards) and her giving birth to two children.

However, though her circumstances have changed, Porter’s comedy remains pretty much where she left it two years ago: delicately winning, gently challenging at most and undoubtedly feelgood.

Until 26 August, 0131 558 7272; www.lucyporter.co.uk

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