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Theatre review: My Name Is Sue

**** PLEASANCE COURTYARD (VENUE 33)

"HELLO," says an ungainly woman dressed in a grey skirt and cardigan, as she looks up from her piano to reveal a less-than-flattering haircut. "My name is Sue and I'm going to sing you some songs about my life."

Sue is a middle-aged spinster from Cardiff who spends her time travelling round on the bus, drinking tea and watching ITV2. Her life is peppered with oddly fascinating mundane happenings, which she tells us about through her self-composed songs. She's charmingly coy, rather badly dressed and jolly lovely. Oh, and she's also played by a man called Dafydd Jones, but let's not shatter the illusion (sorry Sue).

Joining Sue is her band of scary-looking children, The Three Sues, who seem to have modelled themselves on Wednesday from the Addams family. I have to say Sue struggles to get them to loosen up, but they're very good on the violin, cello and drums.

Sue herself is also an excellent pianist and gives us some wonderfully impassioned renditions of her songs. These include a tragic number about how she was kicked out of finishing school as a child, so is doomed "never to be finished". There's also a sinister and rather scary piece about "a dead man waiting to happen" and a tribute to the film Sleeping With The Enemy.

The only annoying thing is that certain members of the audience keep whooping and laughing at inappropriate places. They clearly know Sue in some way and want to show other people (who may possibly be writing reviews) how great her performance is, but instead risk spoiling it. So whoever you are (and this goes for other shows too), please stop. Sue is far too polite to tell you're a pain, but I'm not.

As the evening draws to a close, Sue admits that she didn't really want to do a full-length performance, it's all just a build-up towards her real passion: the final song. She then lets rip with an exuberant attack on mortality, gleefully shouting "we're all going to die" and getting us to join in. Such is her vivacity that it becomes a surprisingly enjoyable thing to chant.

• Until 31 August. Today 9:45pm.

 
 
 

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