Me and My Big Mouth - Comedy Review

Philippa Fordham

Philippa Fordham’s, ‘Me and My Big Mouth’ is a one-woman character based comedy show, which introduces us to an array of personalities, ranging from the loveable to the downright odious. Some are more than a little deluded, while others are merely socially inept, but all are brilliantly funny, keenly observed and ridiculously watchable.

Fordham opens with Stephanie Myers, who is pitching on Dragon’s Den for an investment in her funeral cheerleading business. Stephanie’s services come with a rather chic black costume, complete with black pom-poms, (natch) and she has a real knack for (twisted, but hilarious) cheers about your loved one. This is followed by Baby Jane, the sophisticated toddler who talks to us like she’s a Primrose Hill Yummy Mummy, and yet can’t stop sucking her thumb, let alone complete potty training. We also meet Beverly Snervar, the slightly psychotic shopping channel salesperson of the revolutionary ‘Blue Bullet’ ballpoint pen; a semi-narcoleptic Jazz Singer with the inconvenient habit of nodding off mid song; Anita, the Alan Partridge-esque presenter of Staines Hospital Radio and Nadia, a Polish woman who has learned English on a short course, which used the songs of Abba, with hilarious results.

However, it is clear that Fordham is canny enough to know which characters really work for her, because they get more than one slot. Rudolphia is a ‘a modern dance expressionist’ who appears several times and treats us to a diverse repertoire of dance styles. However, she never quite manages to finish any of her routines: half way through each one she claims that it’s too knackering and she ‘can’t be bothered’. There is something about the simplicity of the character, combined with the gravitas with which Fordham endows each clearly ridiculous ‘dance’ that never fails to delight.

The runaway success of the night is Roberta, a bespectacled young woman who, having visited Bristol for a calamity-free two days, has caught the travel bug and is now looking for travel companions. Unfortunately, Roberta is sadly lacking in any of the good boundaries or social niceties that come naturally to the rest of us. causing her to over-share somewhat. Not that she is unpleasant, in fact she is so disarmingly enthusiastic and good willed that she puts one in mind of a young Sister Wendy Beckett (she also shares her speaking voice and taste in eyewear). Once let loose on the audience, she is in her element, inviting people on holiday, offering advice about how to get a boyfriend (flutter eyelashes, show a bit of neck… or a breast), posing for photos with audience members and finally, jumping a male audience member over a game of chess.

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention the closing act: the evangelical Texan preacher who rejoices in the good book: The A-Z - ‘the one book that can show you the way’. ‘Who can I guide tonight?’ she asks us, taking an audience member’s postcode and looking it up. She also points out to us the evils of the Satnav and exposes its true nature by revealing that with the letter ‘v’ removed it is an anagram of Satan.

‘Me and My Big Mouth’ is a thoroughly silly, but smart show which will remind you how much you like character based comedy. It is also refreshing to see a female comedy act which genuinely transcends gender. As one of her characters quite rightly points out, why doesn’t this woman have her own T.V. show?

© Madelaine Moore

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