Comedy: McPhail at your peril

She's loud, proud and dangerous to heckle, Donna McPhail eats hostile audience members for breakfast - with the initials DM, she's well-equipped to give troublemakers a verbal kicking to remember

The Herald Sun in Australia whistled in reverence after a performance by Donna McPhail: "She makes Madonna look like a shrinking violet," it commented, with no little awe. Also described as "the bovver bird of comedy", McPhail has admitted that she looks like "a Home Counties lacrosse captain, but what comes out of my mouth is the complete opposite".

Acerbic could be her middle name. She has carved out a reputation on the circuit as someone not to tangle with; she may as well come on with a sign round her neck reading "heckle me at your peril". Those who are easily offended by swearing are also advised to give McPhail a wide berth.

"I am `in-your-face'," she told me. "Men in comedy can be laid-back, but for women, comedy is such a weird thing to get into that you have to have a strong personality. All the ones whose names you remember, do."

People certainly remember McPhail's name; indeed Time Out saw her as such a standard-bearer that it chose her as a Prospective Candidate for London at the General Election. After successful spells presenting Radio 1's Windbags with Jo Brand, The Sunday Show for BBC2, and After Hours on Radio 5 Live, McPhail recently road-tested her show at the Edinburgh Festival. She may have been around a while now - she won the Time Out Comedy Award as long ago as 1990 - but the critics were still impressed with the new material. The Scotsman raved that she was in "white-hot form".

Check her out on her 30-date national tour and see if you agree with the reviewer who dubbed her "British comedy's top bird".

Donna McPhail's Autumn Tour opens at the Hazlett Theatre, Maidstone (01622 758611) tomorrow, and continues at Norwich Arts Centre (01603 660352) Friday, and Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead (01442 242827) Saturday

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion this leading designer and sup...

    Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Assistant

    £19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a friendly, confident i...

    Tradewind Recruitment: Primary Teaching Assistant

    Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: At Tradewind Recruitment we are currently l...

    Tradewind Recruitment: Physics Teacher

    Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind Recruitment is currently working ...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee