Lauren Pattison: Lady Muck

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Lauren Pattison
Published 18 Aug 2017

To say this is a 'brave' set sounds like a back-handed compliment. It definitely isn't. This definitely is a really strong set from a youngster who quite legitimately can brandish the 'rising star' badge. Again, not another snarky pop. "This is the most proud I've been of anything I've ever done," she admits. And quite right too.

What's clear on tonight's showing is that Pattison has absorbed the techniques and structures of more experienced comics, and has started to piece them together into something personal and stylish. She mixes pathos and grotty, spiky low humour beautifully. She creates contrasts between poetic turns of phase and filthy outbursts. She's also got a strong authorly grip on how to create an emotional arc. In Lady Muck, Pattison manages to take very personal issues—particularly relating to confidence, body issues and depression—and raise them up into a ridiculously emotional ending. There's real tears. Yes, we're staring into some of her darkest experiences. But it doesn't feel mawkish or voyeuristic. She's done the work to build sympathy and rapport, and she's free to cash those cheques.

It would, I think, be a disservice to Pattison's hard work and skill to paint her as a prodigy. One can see some of the comedic gears not quite meshing – some jokes feel a little contrived, part of a working-out process. And some of her on-stage mannerisms are learned, tips picked up from other comics, rather than mastered. There's a sideward glance, for instance, for throwaway lines which starts to come across as testing for laughs. Really, she's way past testing.