After taking a long and most likely raucous roadtrip from Hull, the Scarlet’s bawdy songs and skits were a welcome burst of sun on an otherwise dour day. Soundtracked by the ultimate hen night playlist, the Scarlet Lights’ brand of comedy turned out far raunchier and realistic than the heavily sanitised female-centred comedy found on TV.
Despite starting out a bit ropey, (the audience was clearly unprepared for show opener ‘Fanny Academy’) the short, clever sketches gradually settled into a dirr-tay, irreverent routine with each Scarlet in possession of the best kind of triple threat – the ability to sing, act and be funny (at the same time!) My favourite sketch highlighted all the reasons I’m childless, with an ironic nod to more-than-a-little-pregnant Scarlet, Lucy Thurlow, capped by a heartfelt rendition of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ that lamented the demise of Sue Smith’s lady bits.
One of the most warming things was the pleasant sound of laughing menfolk; a certain comedian’s recent comments about women not being funny clearly never had any basis in reality, but some of the biggest guffaws in the audience came from its male members. Overheard by one such gentleman after the show: ‘Everything I’ve seen so far has been really pretentious, but this was actually really good’. With so much of today’s comedy focused on griping about the opposite gender, 50 Shades of Scarlet managed to make everyone fair game – new mothers, husbands, drunk girls, bitchy Weight Watcher Leaders – while somehow making their comedy accessible and inclusive. The only real fault with the show was leaving on a high – the audience was clearly willing to be taken on a longer ride than the Scarlets could offer. With one night left of this free show, comedy fans should head to The Laughing Horse for a good chuckle and some new words for genitalia.