Jim Smallman: My Girls

There’s something refreshing about seeing a stand-up show with a title that accurately reflects the content of the act. The show’s called My Girls and over the course of an hour Smallman explores the relationships he has with the most important ladies in his life – principally his wife and young daughter, but also his mother. He explores these relationships by telling stories from his life that feature these women, tales which repeatedly underline how important they are to him.

In other hands the material could come across as saccharine but his material often turns intelligent and thought-provoking

So we hear about the seeds of his romance and how it blossomed into marriage; we hear about his daughter’s jokes; we hear about why he is unlikely to garner the fame that his daughter believes he is due. Smallman spins these stories with an easy charm, teasing out the laughs and ensuring each anecdote has a satisfying and sometimes hilarious payoff. More often than not the girls in his life prove to be the perfect comedic foils, providing the punchlines for the comedian’s well-crafted set-ups.

As the tales unfold, the relationship Smallman has with his girls proves to be overwhelmingly positive. In other hands the material could come across as saccharine but the comedian has an openness and authenticity that is compelling, and his material often turns intelligent and thought-provoking – not least when he talks about negotiating people’s reactions to his wife’s former career in porn.

The laughs come most often when Spellman talks about times spent with his daughter, and some of the unlikely situations they have found themselves in – from a wrestling ring to the back of a police van. The pride that the likeable comedian takes in his daughter is abundantly apparent in the warmth of his delivery. It is this positivity which marks My Girls as one of the more enjoyable and uplifting routines you could see this year.

Reviews by Alec Martin

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The Blurb

There are two girls in comedian Jim Smallman’s odd little life: his precocious, entertaining eleven-year-old daughter with whom he shares ridiculous adventures, and his new wife, the love of his life, who happens to be a retired adult performer. This show is about them. Best New Show nominee, Leicester Comedy Festival 2015. ‘Beautiful comedy from the stand-up who wears life on his skin’ (Sunday Times). ‘Unapologetically, shamelessly life-affirming’ (Fest). ‘An instinctive storyteller who draws out humour in every anecdote. On the comedy spectrum, he falls between Frank Skinner and Dave Gorman’ (Chortle.co.uk).