Review: Jo Caulfield Won’t Shut Up
LOTTIE UNWIN enjoyed this down to earth comic who took no laugh for granted.
Friday 26th, 8.00 at The Junction. £12-14.
Jo joked that a reviewer had told her she had an ‘annoyingly unplaceable but irritatingly familiar’ face and though I can see why she was perturbed, it’s journo gold. Her face looming out of the poster had haunted me for a while before the internet told me she has a Radio 4 show and is the blonde one on Mock the Week quite a lot.
The pink tie was an alarming sign she would be one of those female comics: A bit androgynous, because she’s not afraid of men and in fact very rude about them, and trying to be unattractive, because all female comics are. But, the tie might have been an advertising error. She was just a woman on stage being funny about things she thought would make us laugh and for an hour she really did.
The audience was made up of relaxed, good humoured, middle-aged people and the comedy reflected it. Jo quipped, ‘You don’t like the rudery do you’, and it was true. She was incredibly aware of what was getting laughs, and though it didn’t feel that the show was being tailored to us, she was working for our attention. Unusually for comedy, we had the power from our tiered seats, free from the persecution of the monarchial comic and their mike.
The second half came and she seemed defeated, delivering a list of new jokes that she got us to mark out of ten, which is surely a job for friends and family around the kitchen table before the tour, not on it. Then, she read out the audience answers from forms we had been given about what we love and hate about our town, but I think she must have forgotten the jokes. She really did just read from scraps of paper and no one in their right mind would pay to hear Cambridge residents’ rants about cyclists.
Though I certainly had a giggle, staying in my pyjamas with the girls wouldn’t have required finding clean socks and that's where the problem lies. Having really funny friends means nights like this are a bit of a let down. The girls wouldn’t have put me through twenty minutes of jokes about living with your partner, when the Walk of Shame is banter enough for us. Ten years too young, I don’t think I was quite Jo Caulfield’s target audience.