Susan Calman: Lady Like

Eight years since her Fringe debut, Susan Calman reflects on her Fringe journey, noting the packed 300+ room that she’s playing to during this performance is a far cry from how it all started. She’s certainly come a long way from the days of having to share a toilet queue with members of her own audience.

This was a well-structured and enjoyable hour, but felt like some of the darker themes that Calman touched on got skipped over and not fully explored.

As a proud and out lesbian working for BBC radio Calman extracts humour from the responses to her sexualty she gets from some of the conservative listeners. To laugh at the ridiculousness of people being offended by homosexuality in 2014 feels healing. We hear about the antics on adventure shows on Dave, and honeymoon ideas gone wrong. Calman has many an amusing anecdote to share.

Calman extracts a lot of comedy from self-deprecation, though this show goes a little further into Calman’s perceptions of herself beyond purely surface mockery. The title Lady Like is a pleasurable play on words; the show is not, as one might guess, a story of trying to achieve femininity, but more about her personal journey to like herself more. Interspersed between more recent anecdotes Calman gives us an insight into her difficult childhood. It was the start of a life of always being, to some extent, an outsider.

Calman briefly alludes to her lowest point during her teens. Maybe it was difficult to talk about, but this moment seemed to be important in shaping the journey Calman has been on, and I was left wondering how she came back from the brink at this point in her life and continued on.

This was a well-structured and enjoyable hour, but felt like some of the darker themes that Calman touched on got skipped over and not fully explored. Calman is not the only comedian to be talking about depression at the Fringe, so if it’s going to be dealt with, I feel like it needs to be fleshed out, or left out altogether.

This is a gentle and warm hour of comedy, played to an appreciative audience clearly containing Calman’s fan base. Calman is a competent and charismatic performer and you could do worse than get along to this Fringe offering.

Reviews by Alanta Colley

Laughing Horse @ Dropkick Murphys

All Star Stand-Up Showcase

★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square

Susan Calman: Lady Like

★★★
Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters

Ant Dewson and Mark Silcox: Life in the Bus Lane - Free

Laughing Horse @ Espionage

Nik Coppin - Mixed Racist

★★★
Assembly Hall

Elephant Room

★★★★★
St John's

FunBags a Go-Go!

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Susan's back at the Fringe with a brand new show. If you've seen her before, Lady Like is a reassuring hour spent with the woman her neighbours call ‘the mad cat lady’. If you don't know who she is, the show will definitely make you feel better about your own life. The show's about a lot of things, but it's best not to spoil the surprise. Comedy from Calman, as seen and heard on QI, The News Quiz, Calman is Convicted, HIGNFY, Fresh Meat and Would I Lie To You. ‘Confident, compact ... cracking.’ (Evening Standard).

Most Popular See More

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets