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Edinburgh Festival review – Diane Spencer

Friday, August 12 2011

A superb and graphic show that reminds of Sarah Millican and Joan Rivers

Diane Spencer

What a wonderful show this is. Diane Spencer tells us the story of an attempt to get home after a night out, interspersed with material in which she seems to get herself into extraordinary situations. It doesn't matter if they're true stories or not, but they're certainly convincing enough in the heat of the show, which is the most important thing.

She is reckless so we don't have to be, we just have to sit back and enjoy her tales of a bisexual hen night where she went to quite some lengths to get chucked out, an internet dating episode with a fruity climax, and of course her bizarre journey home.

There is comedy in the shock that this girl-next-door has so many stories of deviance, and is completely fine with confessing all in an unflinching manner. See that devilish look of a born troublemaker in the picture above? Well there's a reason for that. But shock factor only gets you so far, Spencer's way with words and her delivery are absolutely superb and it's only a matter of time before she is commanding bigger rooms than this Gilded Balloon 60-odd seater.

Not only is she graphic about sexual and scatological matters, she's happy to reveal a vicious streak and a dark sense of humour that makes her kinda scary. But so long as her beef is with some drunk lapdancing girl on a train or some such other fool she doesn't take gladly, we're safe, and right behind her because she won over the room pretty much from the get-go.

Spencer reminds me of Joan Rivers and Sarah Millican, both in quality and style, and she surely is destined for bigger things.

4.5 stars

Diane Spencer: All-Pervading Madness is on at the Gilded Balloon at 5.45pm


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