★★★★ KERRY GODLIMAN, TOURING A canny look at social mobility
Kerry Godliman is such an affable and down-to-earth onstage presence that when she talks about whether she should move now that her area has upped and come – you can tell by the local baker making sourdough loaves – you think how much her neighbours would miss her.
Moving – whether geographically or along the social scale – is the central theme of Stick or Twist (which I saw at Soho Theatre), but Godliman neatly swerves into lots of other territory including bad parenting, female friendship and the invasion of hipsters in her previously gritty London abode. If she and her husband sold up, she tells us, they could afford to buy the whole of Hull on the proceeds.
Those subjects above all throw up some funny gags about gentrification, not least the ubiquity of yoga classes and Buddha statues, but the standout material here is about hipsters and the restaurants feeding their weird “food as art” habits. Not for them things we call plates; no, everything from paper to bin lids now serves as a meal platter – “I've had soup out of a bedpan.”
She's canny on the differences between “girl” friendships” and “bloke” friendships (or indeed man flu and woman flu), and the idiocy of the trend for adult colouring books; she also throws in some emoji jokes for good measure. This is standard fare for comics, but Godliman, nicely foul-mouthed when she wants to be, is caustic when required.
Godliman, who is also an accomplished actor (Bad Move, Derek), recently spent some time in Los Angeles for work, where she found herself becoming more Cockney by the minute, and when she talks about living there she goes beyond the standard culture-clash material with a tour-de-force about the perils of buying a “normal” bra in a city where normal has no meaning. She takes a wonderfully filthy detour into discussing the origin of the word “bukaki” before wrapping things up by tying up all the show's themes to finish a very pleasing hour.