Imagine a nervous Theresa May talking to the Queen, who would rather be out in the Buckingham Palace gardens walking the Corgis, and you get the picture. Jan Ravens turns reality into comedy with her solo debut at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, in her show Difficult Woman.
In real life Jan Ravens is far from difficult and has been a great supporter of our quest to promote new female comedy talent, mentoring the wonderful Rose Robinson for last year’s Funny Women Awards final and hosting many events for us. It is high time her enormous talent was unleashed on Fringe audiences.
Jan is the star of BBC Radio 4’s Dead Ringers, where along with Theresa May, her other favourite impressions include Diane Abbott, Lyse Doucet and Fiona Bruce. In this show, Jan channels of some our most enduring female figures from the late great Victoria Wood to some of today’s newest political players like Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davidson, and Kezia Dugdale, as well as a few who aren’t Scottish.
Those of us in our fifties and (in my case) sixties are challenging the stereotypes and we really are in the age of the powerful woman, although the coupling of ‘power’ with ‘difficult’, as Ken Clarke famously described Theresa May, opens a door for some of Jan’s brilliant comic interpretation.
The show takes you into a reimagined world of conversations where Hillary Clinton takes on a spoilt toddler version of Donald Trump and Angela Merkel shows us why she really does have a twinkle in her eye. Jan also sharpens her political teeth on the topic of Brexit, ‘Oh no there isn’t actually another £350m a week for the NHS, sorry about that.’ And lets rip on her favourite topic of ‘health and safety gone mad!’
Where Jan will really score at the Fringe will be with her own demographic as we pack into the Gilded Balloon with our warm prosecco in plastic glasses and our ‘waterfall cardigans’ (don’t ask…) to find out why there are so many choices for the ‘mature lady’ these days and what lies behind the impression that power and age add up to ‘difficult’.
Jan proves that many of us have still ‘got it’ and that you don’t have to settle for elasticated waistbands and the M&S Footglove range – although I do agree with her, they are very comfy.
Jan Ravens: Difficult Woman is at the Gilded Balloon Teviot from 2nd to 28th August. For tickets and more information click here!
Picture of Jan by Steve Ullathorne.