Corinne Grant will probably play to full houses most of this festival. Which is a shame, really, given the lackadaisical show on offer. It’s a breezy hour of stand-up about, y’know, airlines and shopping centres and B-Grade celebrities and stuff.
Whilst most performers will use a Comedy Festival show as a chance to develop a theme, Grant has not. Instead there is a patchwork quilt of bits and pieces with little or nothing to link them together beyond the occasional segue. According to the listing in the program, the theme is Faking It.
To give credit to Grant, there are some genuinely funny moments in the show, in the form of a few stories that strike a chord. Her anecdote at the end of the show about Richard Branson is particularly illuminating. Grant has been performing for a while and has a good sense of timing and rhythm and seems to genuinely enjoy her time on stage.
As performers become more experienced, there is an expectation that they’ll move on to move difficult terrain, challenging themselves and taking their audiences with them. Everyday observational material is okay for a short stint on stage at a pub with an audience that needs to be quickly impressed or it’ll lose interest. A Comedy Festival crowd is a bit different, though. Punters have invested their time and money in seeing a show, and want to get something more substantial out of it. An new idea. A layered joke. A point.
Over the past few years Grant has done very well for herself. As a regular on both Rove and The Glass House, Grant has become a household name with a legion of fans. Her appeal lies not so much in her sense of humour as it does in her friendly, knockabout nature. She could be your older sister, your best friend, or your Chaddy shop assistant. There’s an obvious sincerity and warmth to her. It does mean, though, that the few forays into political material seem heavy-handed.
Grant is a talented performer. This show, though, is a low risk and low reward effort.