Winner of the ‘Funny Woman of the Year’ Award, Suzy Bennett delivers a pleasantly fluent and fast-paced monologue recalling her quest for fame, which originated during her childhood, and subsequent lifelong obsession with ice-skating stars Torvill and Dean. Her plan? Become a minor celebrity with enough fans to be considered a contestant on television show ‘Dancing on Ice’, and ensure a chance to meet and work with her idols.
Bennett establishes a brilliantly friendly mood in the intimate space, and her show’s paramount quality is the sheer unflinching honesty that the comedian seems unafraid to employ. So many performers throw in moments of sentimentality, a ‘sad bit’, in an attempt to present their show as something with depth and feeling; but it can often fall flat, and comes across as what it is- moments thrown in unnecessarily. Bennett however is exceptionally talented when it comes to flitting between laughter and simple honest truths about her life; the death of her father, her battles with eating-disorders and a stint in rehab for example.
However, Dancing on Thin Ice, whist pleasant and amusing at points, lacks the originality to make it memorable and really set it apart. Her choice of subject matter at times could be alienating, in terms of her use of women’s-only experiences. The list included sanitary towels, waxing, menopause and bras. It just felt a bit obvious and pre-subscribed, and I almost willed her to grab a bit more inspiration and raise themes intellectually instead of playing to these crude tried-and-tested female jokes.
Bennett does do well at many points: mixing music and photographs, along with a couple of costume changes and a silly dance. It is this effective use of mixed media which definitely keeps the show moving at an entertaining pace and holds the audience’s interest.It is just another account of the life of a comedian, their childhood told through nostalgic tales and family photos, something we have all seen often before and will surely see many times again. Bennett has the potential for something with real flair; I’m just not sure this show quite reaches it.