Fresh from a slot on James Corden’s Late Late Show, Lou Sanders breezes into Brighton to blow away the grubby taint of the coronavirus—and your dad. Bawdy, brilliant and so charming we’d all be happy to have her as our step-mummy.
Crude and kind, clever and big-hearted
She’s at The Old Market as part of their annual Reigning Women season, ‘a genre-spanning mini-season of shows and events that are all about celebrating some of the kick-ass women that are strutting their stuff on the scene.’ There’s a buzz in the bar for tonight’s sold-out show, and a pleasing gender split in the crowd. Maybe winning Taskmaster, a jewel in Dave’s comedy crown, helped introduce the boys to Lou’s off-kilter brand of self-aware absurdity.
Say Hello to your New Step-Mummy was originally titled Lou Sanders: The Face that Launched a Thousand Dicks. It’s billed as a show about mental health, relationships and perverts. In truth it’s hard to say there’s any kind of theme here beyond having a splendid time while Lou Sanders entertains, but I have no problem with that.
Flipping from dick jokes to Malala and back again via Keanu Reeves and Chessington World of Adventure, Sanders’ set is full of dad jokes and happy finishes. Not the bad-pun, big jumper kind of dad jokes, but the ones about sitting on your dad’s face. Yes, those kind of happy finishes.
She slices up the millennialisms that have become the new norm (“it was a different time, you had to smash your own avocado then”) and her own awkward love life, flirting with the audience with beguilingly clumsy randiness. She’s honest, hilarious and self-aware about her body, her libido and her embarrassing reliance on a WhatsApp-based ‘energy worker’ called Jill.
Her skill is being great at joking about her own silliness without making herself, or women like her, sound foolish or like there’s anything wrong in not getting things right first time. Or in feeling bad because like you’re supposed to be mature enough to like older, kind men now but you’re still horny for skateboarders. You can laugh in self-recognition without feeling diminished.
Crude and kind, clever and big-hearted, Sanders is frank about feminism and astutely skewers the traps of self-criticism that come with trying to better yourself. Long may she reign.