Pippa Evans has something of the music hall about her - and thankfully, by that I don't mean dubious mother-in-law jokes and a touch of old fashioned racism. In her one-woman variety act, Evans delivers songs, characters and stand up comedy with charm and style, all ably accompanied by Yshani Perinpanayagam on the piano.
Simple twists on the old fashioned one-liner format intersperse the show and are laugh out loud funny.
Playful in tone, the hour is made up of a series of set pieces including stand alone comedy songs. Lyrics about going to an all girls school are funny (if a little niche) and the high point of the performance is the opening number which is performed in character. The story follows an ex-music hall starlet, one half of a double act whose partner has died, attempting to sing the duet alone. Perfect comic timing and commitment to the character make this piece utterly hilarious. A good array of characters follow: Evans is clearly a strong actress, and presents a wonderful selection of voices.
She is obviously well aware of crude tropes in old school variety acts, and a series of her favourite cock/vagina jokes use bawdy humour to great effect, making the point that not all rude humour has to be offensive but can use silly wordplay instead. Simple twists on the old fashioned one-liner format intersperse the show (gleeful puns about mushrooms and lions) and are laugh out loud funny.
The entire show is strung together with stand up discussing Evans' own desire to perform and to transform herself into characters, giving the show a deeper human layer and keeping the audience engaged with the material. A healthy dose of audience participation and crowd sing-a-longs keeps the energy in the room high. By the time the show ends with Evans singing Swanee to a paper cut out of Brian Conley's face, everyone is so on board with the personality of the show that it hardly matters that these are pretty specific references. This is a fun filled hour from an indomitably sunny performer.