Comedy review: Susan Calman: The Calman Before The Storm

Stand up comedian Susan Calman who is performing at this years Edinburgh Festival.
Stand up comedian Susan Calman who is performing at this years Edinburgh Festival.
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As the audience walks into the room Calman is already up on stage, bopping about and dancing to a selection of cheesy disco classics.

Star rating: ****

Venue: Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)

It’s a great opening – giving her the chance to prank members of the audience who are afraid they might be late and to bond with the ones who got here early.

These days, Calman, who quit her job as a lawyer ten years ago, has a relatively high profile for a Fringe comic. She’s on the telly, she’s on the radio, she’s joined the ranks of famous Scots.

But having a public profile as a live comic can be a mixed blessing. And Calman spends a lot of time tonight confronting the preconceptions people have about her.

She plays a game with the audience in which she asks them to rank her Scottishness against the other famous Scots. She highlights the bizarre perception of some English people that everyone with a Scottish accent is working class.

Calman talks about her height, her dress sense, her sexuality and her love of swearing. She demolishes the suggestion that she might be overexposed – she’s a comic, she’s doing her job and she’s enjoying it. Thank you very much.

What’s lovely about this show is the feeling that Susan Calman has found a way to be happy in her own skin. She has, she tells us, been depressive throughout her life and coming to terms with who she really is has not been an easy ride. But comedy has been her route to finding who she is and she’s having a ball.

Her material is not earth shatteringly original, but it is properly funny and she has a fantastic range of childish facial expressions. It’s lovely, accessible and joyous. As I left the theatre I suddenly realised I was dancing too.

Until 28 August. 6:20pm.

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