Lucy Porter: Choose Your Battles

Choose Your Battles is Lucy Porter's 11th Edinburgh Show and it's a wonderfully crafted hour that is both funny and, at times, a poignant look at someone who goes out of their way to avoid conflict.

A treat of a show.

The poster for the show has Porter in a combative pose. Over the course of the hour this is shown to be totally against her nature. Even before the show begins to explore its theme, we see evidence of her gentle ways. A group of latecomers walk across the stage in full view of Porter. Instead of turning on them like a number of comedians would do, she welcomes them and explains to them the concept of the show, having already done so before they arrived. I'm surprised she didn't offer to hold their coats while they got themselves set.

The show's title is inspired by a self-help book for parents that Porter had decided to read for inspiration because her two young kids had started to bicker and fight. This brings about some great observational humour about the nature of her parenting style.

She draws on quite a lot of her home life for the show and her husband Justin Edwards is the butt of many of her jokes, but you can't help feeling some sympathy with him especially given his wife's forgetfulness.

Even a near death experience involving Porter and her children is used for comic effect. There is a reenactment of the moment involving a member of the audience. He (Ronan) happens to be an actor that Porter failed to recognise at first. She assured us that this wasn't a plant. We believe her.

Porter moves away from the personal to look at how easy it is today to be easily irritated, offended or wound up by people. She addresses social media and the perils of accidentally googling your own name. Again, this highlights all that's good about Porter's character as she addresses her online troll.

There's a part in the show where the audience get the chance to evaluate two modern dilemmas, it is clear that Porter's audience are fully attuned to her point of view, apart from a few outliers.

The overarching question that the show seeks to address is how do we know which causes are worth fighting for? This is something that may not have been answered by Porter, if the way that the set has been dressed leads us to believe. Still, even if that question might not have been answered this is still a treat of a show. 

Reviews by Paul Clark

Assembly George Square Theatre

Andrew Maxwell: Showtime

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Angela Barnes: Fortitude

★★★★
New Town Theatre

Dickless

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 5 & 6

Phill Jupitus: Achtung!/Acting!

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4

Phill Jupitus Up the Stand

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Lucy Porter: Choose Your Battles

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

A brand-new, brilliant hour of stand-up from this perennial Fringe favourite. In these combative times, it's easy to be irritated, offended or downright enraged by other people. How do we know which causes are worth fighting for? Lucy uses her hilarious experiences to help you decide. Recent TV and radio appearances include: QI, Insert Name Here, Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled, Room 101, News Quiz, The Now Show. 'Impeccably punch-lined anecdotes... genuinely delightful' (Telegraph). 'A treat from start to finish' (Herald). 'Rich with fine routines... an endearing hour' (Guardian).