Edinburgh Fringe Review: Lauren Pattison, Pleasance Courtyard

Update 23/8/17: Lauren Pattison has been nominated for a lastminute.com Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Newcomer. See nominees here.


There is a taboo among women in comedy about talking about women in comedy - possibly for fear of re-opening the annoying Christopher Hitchens debate Are Women Funny.

Lauren Pattison, who is a 23-year-old from Newcastle, smashes that taboo with a story about an encounter with an audience member which no male comic would ever have to face. She also explodes a number of other myths and assumptions about what it feels like to be a young woman with a sweet pretty face.
Lady Muck is all about the last year of her life, about moving to London to become a professional comic, ending a long term relationship and watching her life diverge from those of friends she has left behind in the north east. She is uncompromising in laying bare some of the outrageous treatment young women have to suffer and of the social and economic difficulties experienced by people her age.
Pattison isn’t hard on male comics - she portrays them as a supportive bunch of fellow freaks. But she pointedly refuses to swallow the myth of the level playing field. She is also not easy on herself - her story is a self help story which puts great store on self reliance and self respect, in a way which avoids anything sentimental or self indulgent.
She tells her story in a way which shines a light into her world without leaving anyone in the audience behind, carefully explaining terms and concepts which are peculiar to her generation. She brings the room together with shared laughter, with stories of being a bad shop girl and of playing with her nephew who is deaf.
There is an electrifying section where she tackles the issue of censorship in comedy - where she defies anyone who tells her what to say or how to say it. In the course of her journey of self-discovery she also decides to reveal to the audience her greatest fear - in a moment which has magically helped her greatest fear to disappear.
Pattison should be very proud of her debut hour - which shows her picking herself out of a tricky set of circumstances and learning to trust her voice.
You might be shocked to discover what the world looks like through the eyes of a 23-year-old woman but there is not a chance you won’t understand her point of view.
Lauren Pattison is at the Pleasance Courtyard until August 27. Tickets here.

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