Live Review: Lazy Susan, Soho Theatre

lazy susan

This review first appeared in the Evening Standard here. Following their successful run they've now added a big gig at the Leicester Square Theatre on February 22. Buy tickets here.


2018 was a very good year for sketch comedy with strong, ingenious work from whave been around for a while now but in Forgive Me, Mother! they sink their teeth into #metoo and deliver a set that is thought-provoking, subversive and, most importantly, extremely funny.

The certainly don’t waste time setting out their stall, hitting the ground running with distinctive fast-paced riffs and set-ups. They may be dealing with the thorny subject of contemporary gender politics but they are neither dry nor angry.  Their performances have a wonderful lightness of touch and they exude a classic double-act sensibility. Parker is the nervy one, Dring, the more sensible, sometimes bossy one, although these roles are fairly fluid. They have a keen eye for the humorous potential of any scenario and are not afraid to home in on the dark side of masculinity.

In one memorable scene, for example, they portray masked rapists lurking in a bush who end up chatting about their health regimes. Later, when Parker thinks Dring is about to become a victim of violence, she quips: “Can’t two women do a sketch show without a man sticking his oar in and trying to murder them?”

Elsewhere they spoof the clichéd way women have been portrayed in male-dominated cinema, satirising tropes such as the whimsical Amelie archetype: “Dance with me, Thomas! Dance with me in the rain!”

Another highlight is their foul-mouthed post-Weinstein Hollywood reboot. The emphasis is always on classy playfulness — there is no whiff of Times Up revenge. Their fussy eaters Natalie and Stacey — “anyone who says they like prawns is showing off” — shows that they are happy poking fun at women too. If television is not developing something with this pairing already it cannot be long before they get their onscreen break. Their observations are accurate, their writing gets quickly to the point. And they have the kind of natural chemistry that cannot be manufactured.

This is also a beautifully structured show, as threads are tied together towards the end. Throughout the set Parker has to field phone calls from her mother, who is concerned about how her daughter’s life is going. Judging by the ovation they received at the end of this gig it is going rather well.


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