Lizzie Bates: Reprobates
  • By Kyung Oh
  • |
  • 15th Aug 2014
  • |
  • ★★★

Lizzie Bates is a wildly imaginative comedian who has created a stunning array of characters for a fun hour of comedy. The show opens in a post-apocalyptic bunker, where Bates plays a zany and slightly mad woman who has appointed herself as entertainments officer for a group of tired and disinterested survivors. She harangues them for participation, and berates ‘Bob’ for his indiscreet positioning of his bathrobe.

Although her characters are wide-ranging in variety, there is still something common running through all of them, something recurring in the way that Bates tries to produce laughs.

The show is kept lively and engaging as Bates involves a different audience member for each new sketch. She hands over a pair of boxing gloves to an audience member before becoming his hilariously keen and hapless coach during a match; she picks another to become a pupil at a Swiss finishing school, of which she is the prim and proper mistress. This audience participation, while focusing our attention, never makes us feel uncomfortable, and Bates is indeed always the larger-than-life character that is the butt of the jokes.

I feel I must point out that the volume of laughs - from myself and the audience overall - was not quite as high as befits a truly successful comedy show, despite Bates’s talent and the variety of her characters. Although her characters are wide-ranging in variety, there is still something common running through all of them, something recurring in the way that Bates tries to produce laughs. The jokes depend mostly on Bates becoming an otherworldly character, and on us being invited to laugh at her characters’ woeful lack of self-awareness. I think Bates would benefit from finding a way to shake up this aspect of her comedy, because her creativity and acting skills are already very impressive. Overall, I very much enjoyed this show and it has the makings of becoming an outstanding act.

Reviews by Kyung Oh

Underbelly, Cowgate

Before Us

Traverse Theatre

Men in the Cities

Pleasance Courtyard

Years to the Day

theSpace on Niddry St

Can't Stay Away!


Snoutology for Beginners

C venues - C

The Road to Skibbereen


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Riotous character comedy from Bafta Rocliffe winner 2013 and member of critically-acclaimed sketch group The Boom Jennies (BBC Radio 4). Meet Paula, who won't get out of her neighbour's hot tub for love nor money, Hildegard, the Swiss finishing school mistress with a fetish for fast food, and Judith, the doctor's receptionist who won't let patients past without a thumb war. Packed with endearing everyday rebels, this is a bold, ballsy and highly-anticipated debut - not to be missed. ‘Future of British Comedy' (Bafta). 'Delightfully silly' (Daily Telegraph). ***** 'Hilarious' (Argus). 'A big future' (Guardian).

Most Popular See More

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets