Lucy Porter

Porter's charm offensive wins the day, and even the singletons go away feeling all gooey

★★★★
archive review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 19 Aug 2007
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Lucy Porter can’t half talk. Like a friend whose madcap anecdotes you enjoy but could never act out yourself, Porter’s confessional style – established, for the Love-in, as concerning the eccentricities which accompany the onset of love – strikes a winning balance between hilarity and embarrassment.

Also, crucially, Porter knows her crowd. She knows that befriending a couple in the front row will soften the mood initially. She knows that when asked to vote – with eyes closed, so as to rule out cheating – whether her crazy-in-love behaviour, such as Googling an ex-boyfriend’s famous ex-girlfriend while he showered, was "bonkers" or "balanced", a majority will side with her. Mostly, she knows that an audience seemingly comprised largely of the loved-up will appreciatively ‘ahhh’ at the mention of luck in love. "Aren’t you lovely?" coos Porter after one such moment. Her audience echoes this sentiment right back because, although she knows exactly how to press their buttons, Porter does so uncynically.

Moreover, the Love-in is superbly crafted. Having detailed a range of her own foibles – teenage OCD, her imaginary dog and a liking of a few drinks being just some – Porter moves on to discuss the often riotous consequences these have had for her love life. Yes, she really did wear a PVC nurse outfit on a first date once. Still, the dénouement, which calls back all her various eccentricities, only to provide the ultimate punchline – Porter is, despite all this, now properly in love. The audience may not be corpsing, but this is beside the point: Porter’s charm offensive wins the day, and even the singletons go away feeling all gooey. Porter, above all, proves that comedy and cynicism don’t always make the best bedfellows.