Lou Conran has had a tough year, and she’s not afraid to talk about it. In fact, there’s very little this cheerily cheeky Mancunian is afraid to discuss. She makes a bracing start, scatologically detailing her bowel movements and providing graphic play-by-play of her neighbour’s overheard sex life. But these comic shock tactics are really just softening us up for the main event, a deeply personal account of her recent lost pregnancy.
It all began with a short-lived affair retold in typically riotous fashion, involving a "gentleman caller", some coconut oil and an arsehole. Five months into her pregnancy, she discovered the baby had a terminal condition and could not survive. After induced labour, her daughter was stillborn.
If that sounds an impossibly sad basis for a raucously funny standup show, you’ve underestimated Conran. Besides, as she says, "That’s the thing with tragic situations – most of the time they're fucking hilarious." From the excruciating cringe-comedy of her friends’ attempts to cheer her up, to her plan to lighten the mood in an operating theatre by accusing a gynaecologist of fisting her, she finds the belly laughs throughout.
It’s a brave, honest hour that keeps the tears at bay with wicked punchlines. At one point, Conran mentions wanting to challenge taboos around the loss of a child. This show doesn’t so much break those taboos, as smash them into pieces while telling bawdy sex stories, making loud fart noises, and cracking gags about shitting yourself at a funeral. Go prepared – but for God's sake, go.