After appearances on the likes of Mock the Week and Live at the Apollo, Suzi Ruffell has had a massive year. But, that doesn’t mean she hasn’t spent the whole time incredibly anxious. Touring Australia, she worried incessantly about tiny spiders, locked hotel doors and being kicked in the face by a kangaroo. In the Twittersphere, she’s kept up at night by the utterings of a homophobic troll. And in her own flat, she’s terrified of the weird guy who lives on the floor below.
Ruffell’s Nocturnal blends the personal with the political.
But, for a show that deals with the comedian’s anxiety, Nocturnal is far from dreary. Ruffell never ceases to explain how lucky she feels to do her job. And, from the outset, it’s clear that she loves being on stage, coming out to warm up the crowd even before the warm-up (the hilarious Rosie Jones). Beaming down at the audience, she keeps the crowd engaged with the same great use of physical comedy as stand-up legends like Lee Evans and even finishes with her own version of a Disney ballad.
Although she rejects being labelled a gay comedian, Ruffell excels in her treatment of gayness on stage. Cheekily acknowledging her lesbian fans with jokes about Birkenstocks and Sandi Toksvig, she explores the experiences of gay women in such a way that allows just about everyone to relate. She keeps the crowd on board with tragic stories about hen dos, Naked Attraction and awkward encounters with student doctors. Much like Hannah Gadsby’s now infamous Nanette, Ruffell brings her light-hearted show to a serious crescendo. As the troll’s comments start to settle in, the audience is left reflecting on the state of current state of homophobia and LGBT visibility.
Now halfway through her UK tour, Ruffell’s Nocturnal blends the personal with the political to bring you an hour of side-splitting humour and thought-provoking storytelling.