Review: Susan Calman, Latitude 2017

Susan Calman revealed at the start of her set that she has recently bought a large property. After Trump was elected she thought she might as well go out in style: "If we are going to die we might as well die in a big house." She has latterly developed a fondness for thermostats, and certainly read the temperature of the Latitude crowd well, delivering a punchy set that warmed them up nicely for headliner Dara O Briain.

Some wags might argue that for Calman a doll's house would feel like a sizeable property. As she points out herself, she is so short she can stand upright in a taxi. This joke perfectly sums up her humour. Self-deprecating and very sharp. She is also spikier and angrier than her Radio 4 persona might suggest.

Her Friday afternoon set was one of the highlights in the comedy tent on the first day of Latitude, mixing old and new material. There was personal material, political material and her grandmother's recipe for "Italian mince" - fried mince and a couple of tins of soup if you must know. 

Calman is married and in her early forties and is coming to terms with being middle aged - she realised this when she told someone off for riding a scooter on the pavement. Life in the Calman household is fun with a bit of bickering lobbed on for good measure. Her other half teases her about her fondness for Gillian Anderson but also introduced her to the probably non-PC sport of "gay or French" - when you are in Paris you try to work out if passers by are homosexual or gallic. Though it was not clear if you win or lose if they are both.

New routines concerning her understandable anger about the DUP sat nicely alongside some classic old anecdotes, such as her story about being up for the role of Keira Knightley's love interest in a movie and appearing on Celebrity University Challenge where her main ambition was not to embarrass herself, which she promptly did by getting an answer spectacularly wrong. No embarrassments onstage here.

Chris Ramsey Latitude Review.

Brennan Reece Latitude Review.

Reginald D Hunter Latitude Review.


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