In her 22nd year of visiting the Edinburgh Fringe, the ever chirpy, evergreen Lucy Porter puts her identity in front of the audience as she explains her confused, northern routes. Porter, born in Croydon to a Northern Irish father and Midlands mother, tries to break down the English North/South divide, breaking off on tangents along the way, with her upbeat and often improvised humour that she is so famous for.
Porter’s affinity for the North was cultivated in her teens through bands like The Smiths and The Fall. After studying in Manchester, she got her first job working in TV at Granada, meeting one of the main stars on ‘Operation Yewtree’s wishlist’ in unfortunate circumstances. Porter reflects on this and many life experiences that have helped shap her with self-deprecating charm. From her father’s attempts to hide his own roots with a poor Scottish accent, to her recent run-in with the city of Derby’s Mayor, Lucy Porter offers a laugh a second, as she pushes through the myriad of events that have made her the person she is today.
Though her intention is to do away with the boundaries that exist between the North and South of England, Porter gives us an intimate character assessment of her own life, which transcends any bland label. Her neuroses and imperfections are presented within hilarious anecdotes and stories that ring true with her audience. Zipping through issues such as sectarianism, feminism and reflecting on her need to sometimes pretend to be her own children’s Spanish nanny, Porter’s light, entertaining banter is cheeky, uplifting and addictive.
Porter’s ability to engage with her audience is just as impressive and as warming as each story in her set and testament to the fact that with a personality and ability as strong as hers, there is no need for an identity built on geography. With an ambassador like Lucy Porter, Croydon’s next application for city status is all but guaranteed.