Louise Leigh Amused

Lynne Parker

Lynne Parker

Louise Leigh certainly amused me. She is so present in her own amusement that it’s infectious.  Laughing at her own jokes and telling the audience how much she likes them is a curiously high-status strategy but it works.

In a venue that’s like entering the Crystal Maze to reach the ‘padded cell’ of a room, Louise’s own hard work at self-promotion ensured that it was full to the brim on the day I went (hopefully everybody got out again safely).  I know for a fact that she has been flyering like a demon and the two women sitting next to me had bought tickets for the show because they’d liked Louise when they met her on the street. They loved Louise by the end of the show.

This is not a ‘midlife crisis’ sort of show, more of a celebration about having reached a certain stage in life and how to negotiate it all. Louise delivers her debut hour with energy and enthusiasm covering relationships, motherhood, menopause, and farts. Two years of incarceration has clearly unleashed Louise’s creativity, and some threads of material I’ve previously seen are now developed into fully formed material.

There’s pace and space as well as a strong narrative. Louise is not shy about her physicality and uses this comedically to break things up and punctuate the material. She also isn’t shy about giving the audience a chance to catch their breath in between laughs, of which there are many, with a chat or an observation.

Louise’s crazy hair-brained way of looking at life is uplifting and positive. She explores marriage, motherhood, dog ownership, and more. Shen even found amusement in going for a mammogram. There’s a history of breast cancer in Louise’s family, so despite the seriousness of being screened, the whole episode has been turned into a pantomime sketch – the dexterity with which she manipulates her breasts in a physical comedy routine will live long in the memory (or is that mammary?).

Go see this show. I liked it. The audience loved it. That’s what the Fringe is all about – Louise made everybody laugh, even the slightly skeptical-looking men who’d clearly been dragged along by their partners, laughed along too. Yes, Louise is amused, easily or otherwise, and she ensures that this rubs off onto everybody around her.


Louise Leigh Amused is at Just the Tonic at the Caves, at 12:10 until 28th August. For tickets visit EdFringe.com.

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