The first-time mother on kissing men with beards, witnessing a 'slagalanche' and drinking at lunch time
A lunchtime comedy gig isn't the easiest job for a comic. Traditionally, comedy gigs are best suited to the evenings, when drinks ease the laughter out of the audience.
English comedienne Lucy Porter makes mention of the incongruity of this gig at the Black Box, part of the Out To Lunch Festival, but argues that we, the audience, are getting 'two days for the price of one': it was day before we entered, it will be day when we leave.
As a recent first-time mother, this gig marks Porters first time spent away from her newborn daughter. Her family commitments have obviously given the comedienne pause for thought, and whilst this is not a polished performance, her acute observations carry the audience along in fine style.
She draws a cheer from the crowd when she asks if anyone is drinking, suggesting that a good portion of those present are having a wee tipple. Her own meandering routine and 'ramblings of a new mum', however, probably have more to do with the fact that she had a glass too many the night before!
Porter's performance style is intimate and friendly, and at times feels more like an extended confessional conversation with a friend. She talks of her pre-motherhood antics with disarming honesty. Recalling her first ever gig in Belfast as support to Puppetry of the Penis, Porter admits that it was the first time she had been booed on stage. She muses that perhaps the audience that day expected her to do 'ventriloquism of the vagina'.
At just under 5ft, she describes herself and her hirsute husband (who is 6" 5) as some kind of weird Krankies tribute. Kissing bearded men is great fun, she declares, as you get to exfoliate at the same time.
The routine takes in subjects as diverse as disastrous first dates, family holidays, wheels on suitcases, Porter's penchant for bad boys, her imaginary dog, making dens in her tiny flat, Argos paddling pools (don’t ask), hen and stag parties, a 7 star hotel in Dubai and P Diddy's coulrophobia (fear of clowns).
This last observation gives a fair indication of the intelligence of Porter's word play, which often relies on alliteration. Discussing P Diddy, she presumes that as a rapper he could probably do a drive-by shooting, but not go for a drive though meal because the Golden Arches mascot would freak him out.
There is a bawdy element to Porter's set, too, and she is not afraid to talk about some of the darker elements of society and sexuality. She describes a scene in a comedy club in Manchester when she witnessed a gaggle of girls out on a hen night traipsing down a spiral staircase. Inevitably, one of them tumbled forward, knocking her companions down the staircase like an avalanche, or 'slagalanche', as Porter puts it.
Having seen Porter on a previous visit to Belfast, it's clear that she is maturing as a performer. There is a marked increase in confidence and, like all good stand ups, she is not afraid to take risks. Certainly one to look out for in 2011.