REVIEW: The Footlights LADY Smoker

An all female and non-binary line up fail to disappoint.

ADC adc late show Cambridge Theatre Footlights Lady Smoker student theatre

In their latest stand up and sketch show extravaganza, the Footlights presented an all female and non-binary cast, designed to titillate the already fairly merry folk of the ADC (it was already 11pm in fairness).

What followed was a hugely diverse array of comedic experiences, from straight up stand-up to the briefest yet most abstract sketches. Understandably, the quality was variable but under it’s own momentum the show managed to keep the audience in a state of perpetual guffawing.

Opening with a satirical sketch on the somewhat traditional (or tired) topics of female comedy: menstruation, feminism, vilification of men, The Lady Smoker started fast, throwing such a flurry of great punchlines that the volume of laughter in the room actually prevented the sketch from proceeding at it’s normal pace. For a moment I feared the show might actually collapse under it’s own hilarity.

Next came a less breakneck-paced sketch on a conversation between cows which bubbled along fairly gently until a screamer of a punch line returned the entire room to a state of hysteria. Following this, Rhiannon Shaw’s wonderfully deadpan monologue on a Glaswegian Granny’s sex tips, going by the name of Elsie McClutchley. The vulgarity of the sequence was itself eye-opening (after all, why should octogenarian intercourse be so disgusting) but the fantastic delivery and writing of the lines again had the audience creasing.

After this, the show did become far less consistent in terms of quality, which admittedly is likely when bringing together such a broad range of styles. The show, however, continued to be punctuated by moments of excellence. A particular instance was neither a sketch, nor a stand-up routine, but a poem titled ‘Blowjob Blues’. With an endless string of fantastic fellatio jokes, it neither compromised its comedic quality, nor its poetic structure, with a near perfect delivery.

Following in the footsteps of greatness

Despite the initial sketch, the show did break some of its own promises with regards to sketches on feminism, but most of these were produced creatively and received well. Towards its finale, Isa Bonachera, acting as a lone stand-up, managed to bring the house down with what can only be described as an abstract zoological tour de force. A continuous mixture of laughter and abdominal pain ensued.

All in all, the night presented a fantastic variety in sketches and stand up, ranging from fairly intricate pieces to the most flash in the pan, ephemeral bursts of humour. While it did struggle at times to maintain consistency, as a whole it didn’t disappoint.