As a well-established stand-up and familiar voice on Radio 4, Lucy Porter has a very clear idea of her target audience. By her own admission, Porter has leaned into those expectations to mine subjects for her shows – described, as recounted here, by one reviewer as “middle-aged, middle class and middle of the road,” Porter is taking that rather unhelpful assessment as a compliment, and so she should.
Pass It On, her current show, took her experience of menopause as its starting point and central thread, culminating in some deftly woven routines about the change in outlook and realisations which it has led to. Porter’s on-stage demeanour, as a warm and naturally funny performer, ensured that this kind of material was relatable to the audience, making herself the butt of many of these jokes and gleefully sharing embarrassing stories such as her trip to M&S to buy new pairs of jeans.
The stand-out routine here, though, was Porter’s examination of virtue signalling, interspersing intelligent jokes with salient points about her own behaviour and the difficulty of being truly virtuous. The fact that all this was delivered while standing in front of a gaggle of toys and dolls which belonged to her mother, some cute and others creepy or downright disturbing, merely heightened the comedy.
This menagerie of glass and porcelain highlighted the theme of the show, of what gets passed to us from older generations and what we in turn pass on, to the world and to our children, but in truth this was the aspect of the show which never felt as though it was explored as fully as it might have been. Nevertheless, this was 90 minutes in the company of a warm, reassuring and delightfully funny stand-up.