Lucy Porter is 43 years old, married with children, not a fan of Queen, and is unashamedly herself. All of the aforementioned are very apparent from her show. Porter stepped onstage at The Hen & Chicken with high energy which she sustained from start to finish. The venue was perfectly matched to her comedy, lending itself to creating a friendship and closeness between performer and audience. Indeed, some of Porter’s strongest moments were moments of improvised audience participation, as she moves in and out of improvisation with the ease of somebody who knows how to command the stage and the audience. Throughout the show, she returned repeatedly to a few audience members, an in joke which added to the sense of familiarity.
Consequences looks, in its first half, at family stories and class commentary. The detailed, vibrantly described insights into Porter’s family life are easy to picture and intelligently foster a sense of intimacy which keeps the audience engaged and close to the content. Her energy and her enthusiasm make the audience want to listen. She combined this personal touch with discussion of uniquely British points of culture, weaving expertly between the personal and the social.
The second half discusses themes of age and youth. There is always the danger of ostracising the younger members of an audience when discussing middle age, but Porter acknowledges this. She has taken a potential weakness in her show and turned it into something original and funny. She also connected these personal themes to the social again, moving into politics. In this section especially, Porter showcased her talent for maintaining the element of surprise. A joke could expertly weave one way and then bob the other. This ability to surprise was entirely well received by the audience.
Though not a good time to be a citizen of the world, the political landscape today makes it a pretty amazing time to be a comedian. Porter knows this well. Of course, it’s nothing new to make comedy out of politics, but it takes a talent like Porter to make it individual and memorable without becoming punishing or severe. At any moment where it felt remotely tense, she calmly diffused the situation with something more cheerful. One of Porter’s greatest talents as a comedian is how she gets back up again after a joke doesn’t hit. She knows how to laugh at herself, how to navigate between lighthearted and biting humour.
Overall, I would say that the first half of the show was more personal and specific, but drifted out of focus, whilst the second half was better paced, if less uniquely ‘Porter’. The last five minutes or so were the most impressive, managing to tie together earlier moments which might otherwise have seemed directionless. Porter is, in a nutshell, intelligent, engaging and charismatic. And wholly recommended.