reviews and recommendations

Viv Groskop: Be More Margo

How can anybody ‘Be More Margo’ than Viv Groskop herself? A fully paid up Oxbridge graduate, West London Yummy Mummy and Guardian-writing success story, Viv is well qualified to find the next big ‘thing’ in suburban middle-classdom amongst the Edinburgh Fringe going cognoscenti. The show explores snobbery, class and Britishness through the prism of 1970s sitcom, The Good Life, and it’s leading light Margo Leadbetter.

Not only is Viv a brilliant writer and performer she is also a champion of weight loss. I bring this up partly out of envy and, for those of us in the know, this fact hung suspended in the air during an hour of her show without being addressed. Viv even wrote a national newspaper article about her dramatic three stone weight loss to promote herself and this show and is now a sleeker, glamorised version of the woman who appears on the cover of her best-selling book, ‘I Laughed, I Cried’.

None of this matters of course as Viv is selling out her show, as she did last year. Recognition is a big part of comedy so the familiarity of Penelope Keith’s ‘Margo’ character resonates with a core audience, albeit middle aged, like me.

We learn that Margo was a a role model for Viv’s Northern Irish mother who wanted to emulate her rounded British vowels and aspired to her comfortable suburban lifestyle. We are regaled with stories proving that Viv’s roots do lie in working class ‘trades’ and how her mother became a Tory councillor and voted for Brexit.

Viv’s real skill lies in her ability to play an audience and the success of the performance relies on participation from the right kind of people. The lure of Waitrose goodies and a a G&T helps the action along the way and everybody leaves sated. It’s good fun and pitched exactly right for those who are still finding their way around the hundreds of shows on offer at the Fringe. This will ease you in gently and you might walk away with a free bag of quinoa if you channel your inner Margo!

★★★★

Viv Groskop Be More Margo is at The Stand at the Edinburgh Fringe. For tickets click here!