Phoebe Walsh: I'll Have What She's Having

It's difficult to know when Phoebe Walsh is being ironic, and when she is simply revelling in being a stereotypical millennial.

You'll find your friends nudging and pointing at themselves, saying #omg #me.

Every line from Walsh’s script could be posted to Twitter with the hashtag #relatable. The majority of her material involves discussion of her social media activities - stalking the back catalogue of attractive stranger's Facebook photos, for example, or looking up her dates on LinkedIn - but it rarely feels particularly fresh or exciting. After all, if something is too relatable it becomes something we have all thought before.

There's also the ‘sex section’, interspersing one liners about romantic encounters with energetic dancing. Some really land, some do not. The material which comes across as the most genuine is that about her parents - an introverted mother and confident, ever-singing father. In keeping with him, her hour is regularly punctuated with music. She makes it work well when she ends her jokes with bizarre lyrics, and the ending fits with this idea charmingly. However, I found the seemingly random music beneath some of her sets distracted from her delivery, and would have preferred her to either always have noise beneath her speech or to only use it as deliberate segues. Similarly, her couple of uses of sound effects are not synchronised well with her movements - it's very difficult to time actions with multiple technical cues, and I can't help but think that she would do better to get rid of them entirely.

There were flashes of real brilliance though. She merited applause when describing the moment of coming out to her parents as fine, because bisexuality is the softer queer, ‘not the hard Brexit’. My favourite moment was her imagining her own funeral: ‘someone Boomerang them lowering my coffin!’

Walsh gains the most laughs from the twenty-something women in the audience, who - myself included - recognised themselves in her self-analysis. That said, a group of giggly middle-aged women (on a hen do? Or just enjoying the evening?) were having an absolute riot behind me - in fact, their snorts were so loud and indiscriminate that Walsh lost her train of thought a few times.

Listening to Walsh’s hour is like hearing a friendly woman in the club loos talking about herself - it's fun and charming and you laugh along, but you don't come away with much memory of it. If you're a young person looking for an hour of high octane jokes to go along with a drink, then Walsh is a lively entertainer. You'll find your friends nudging and pointing at themselves, saying #omg #me. 

Reviews by Lily Lindon

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Since you’re here…

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

We're born alone, we live with weird people we find on Gumtree, we die alone. Phoebe does some lovely jokes about the struggles of living, working and finding true love in this post-truth world. You'll either relate to what she's saying or feel glad that you don't. So, whoever you are, you should come. Phoebe's credits include writing for Vice and Elle magazine, sketches for C4 and E4, starring in BBC2's The Javone Prince Show and All4's Webscam. 'OMFG! I wanna be her!' (Malala). ***** (Skinny). ***** (Gay Times). **** (Spoonfed.co.uk). **** (ThreeWeeks).

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