Lou Sanders’ latest show, Say Hello to Your New Step-Mummy, examined a similar area to her 2018 outing, Shame Pig. After being the subject of online vitriol following her appearance on Taskmaster, Sanders has turned this into what is at times an insightful and empowering hour of comedy.
Tackling themes such as feminism, the female body and relationships, Sanders opened the show by admitting that we’d be hearing material which wouldn’t necessarily reflect on herself in a very flattering way. In a sense, that proved correct – much of this show centred on Sanders’ confessional instincts, not least in detailing her relationship history, but it was delivered with such charming, disarming honesty that made her excellent company and kept the audience on her side.
Describing it as self-deprecation doesn’t quite do it justice, but there’s a whimsical slant to Sanders’ comedy and on-stage demeanour which both leavened the subject matter but also sometimes threatened to undercut some salient points, making this an enjoyable and worthy show, if not always a successful one in hitting its targets.
The most successful material here was the recurring ‘character’ of ‘Jill in the Pyrenees’, the healer who recommended Sanders’ one-year ‘man ban’, and this relationship is sketched with such attention to detail that it makes this relationship an important and very relatable aspect of the show, with more time being given to discussing Jill and her healing than anyone else who features in the show, except Sanders herself.
Not everything connected with the audience and at points there was a sensation that with her digressions Sanders was leaning into the ‘have my cake and eat it’ approach a little too much, but on the whole this was an enjoyable hour in the presence of a fast-rising voice in UK stand-up.