Usually when someone describes themselves as “a bit mad”, it’s a cue to run a mile. They tend to be the most tedious, annoying people in the world. Lou Sanders is different. Genuinely different.
Star rating: ****
Venue: Pleasance Dome (Venue 23)
She admits that people tell her she’s odd, an assessment she doesn’t disagree with. But her eccentricity feels natural, even during a show where she’s exaggerating that oddness for comic effect.
It helps that she’s exceedingly likeable, which is key to selling “random” comedy. If you like a performer, you’ll happily go along with whatever nonsense they throw at you. Sanders revels in nonsense.
She combines a love of silly songs and jingles, nonsensical quips and deceptively trad jokes (“I was the prettiest girl in my class. I was home-schooled.”), all wrapped up in a charming bundle of open-mindedness, self-aware nerves, faux-arrogance and sexual bravado.
Like so many comics, she’s a neurotic extrovert. That she’s always been eccentric is confirmed by an embarrassing childhood story about trying to impress a boy by dressing in a leotard and spangly leggings a la Rosemary Conley.
Her scattershot whimsy sometimes misses its target, especially when her nerves seem genuine and she garbles her lines. But even her nervous laugh – usually a no-no for a comic – works as a contagious punctuation point. Obviously, if you’re utterly immune to silliness, then she’ll drive you mad. Sanders is aware of this.
The show’s title is inspired by a comment from a baffled friend’s partner, who once witnessed her innately divisive act. When I reviewed her, she addressed a similarly perplexed and unamused audience member. “It’s okay, I’m like this on purpose,” she told him. “Well, it’s sort of a happy accident.”
Either way, the lady does know what she’s doing.
Until 28 August. Today 8:10pm.