Isy Suttie: Pearl and Dave

Some suggest that you have to like a performer to be able to laugh at their work. This isn't true in all cases, there are games to be played with persona, with audience response, or simply with being so funny it doesn't matter that you're a tw*t. Isy Suttie has a lot of the job done before her set even begins. She's simply one of the most genial, affable comedians I have ever seen, and seems able to win over an audience by force of personality alone, but her versatile vocal abilities and witty, occasionally Alan Bennett-esque, turns of phrase don't do any harm either.Suttie will be most familiar as the loveable dork Dobby from TV's Peep Show. Although she's never too far from that particular brand of nerd appeal, it's unlikely many of the Channel 4 audience are aware of her musical ability. About half the show is presented in song form, illustrating landmarks in the charming story of her friend Dave and a girl he met at Butlins. This gives the set its narrative structure. Suttie tells a convincing and warmly human tale of cyber-romance that pokes gentle fun at the ridiculous constraints of long-distance love. A sequence about a series of intermittently problematic Skype dates is among the most telling moments.If there's an issue, it's that the songs don't quite fit into Suttie's self-presentation as a realist raconteur. Constant reassurances that Dave is a real person and that all the events presented really happened jar with the suggestion that her lyrics are all his own words. While obviously a gambit, it throws the preceding set-up into confusion and distracts slightly from the humour by making the audience second-guess the material. There's no shame in making it up of course. However, Suttie could find a better way of negotiating the relationship between the strands of direct honesty and attention-drawing artifice. Strange bedfellows to share a single set.

Reviews by Richard O'Brien

The Blurb

Hilarious, heartbreaking, multi-character tale of internet romance from musical stand-up Isy, known as Peep Show’s Dobby (C4). With vignettes from her own love life. Double British Comedy Award nominee. 'Comedy with heart and soul' (Chortle.co.uk).