Performer: Isy Suttie
Reviewer: Holly Sharp
The Actual One. A show about that horrendous moment in your late 20s when you look around and realise that your friends have shunned nights out for nights in, the pub for pregnancies and perhaps worst of all, the dawning reality that there is now a whole generation of people that haven’t even heard of a Tamigotchi. Framed around the release of Isy Suttie’s newly-released autobiographical novel The Actual One– an hour in the whimsical throes of Suttie’s company is enough to make you not only want to buy this book but petition her to continue writing them until the end of time.
Suttie has the rare talent of being able to perform to a packed room and yet still feel like your best mate. Her bumbly charm, liberally peppered with guitar wielding musical interludes (most hilariously a pithy song about the relationship between ex-Londoners turned countryside dwellers and the first syllable of countryside), transports you from the formality of The Quays theatre to the warm comfort of your local, you can practically feel the stale air and familiarly sticky floor as she reminisces about the time she romanced her former boyfriend with a homemade five-foot penguin, complete with DVD shelves and constructed largely of wire fencing (a hint if you’re going to try this, apparently you may be forced to purchase a bus ticket for said makeshift penguin if you plan to travel by public transport, that’s unless a crowd of Matlock locals don’t come to your aid). Her bottomless archive of too-ludicrous-to-be-true stories is interspersed with a warm normality that forms a perfect balance of bizarre and banal.
We live in a society where a shoulder shrug and an offhand “I just don’t find female comedians funny”, is a sadly common utterance. A strong recommendation next time you hear someone say something along these lines is to smack the culprit round the head with a copy of The Actual One and consider giving them a papercut with a ticket to Suttie’s next show. Actually, second thoughts, bop them again with the book and keep the ticket for yourself. This show takes all of life’s anxieties and mocks them to smithereens, in the frankest, yet gentlest and most hilarious way possible. If we all thought like Suttie the world would be a much nuttier, but much nicer place.
Reviewed on 28 January 2016 | Image: Contributed