The Public Reviews
City 1 at Sweet Grassmarket is not the largest of venues, and its intimacy makes for the perfect venue for this engaging, funny, warm-hearted show. Patsy Blades, a ‘woman of a certain age’, is our hostess for the hour; a storyteller, comedienne, and guide to the peri-menopause. Referring to herself in the third person, with two pairs of glasses precariously perched on the top of her head, Patsy Blades, effortlessly inhabited by Katie Southall, carries the audience through a selection of monologues, jokes, and still manages to find time to share sausages, Pringles and shredded cucumber with the assembled punters. At some points, the show felt to lose a bit of momentum, most notably at the beginning when a reference was made to a noticeably absent technician, but Southall quickly hit her stride, and carried the audience with her, laughing all the way.
Southall masterfully engages and involves the audience throughout the show, with witty, acerbic conversation which brilliantly allows Southall to move from one topic to another. Much of the show was derived from audience participation and response, keeping the comedy fresh, and the audience interested from start to finish, an engagement that is only furthered by Southall’s sole fellow performer. This is not a show which serves to please the lowest common denominator, as much of the humour here is educated, clever, and peppered with allusions to classic literature and the public school system, all of which only further characterises the eponymous Patsy, and delights the very English audience. Intelligent, funny and engaging, this show is a must see for comedy lovers, and offers a brief oasis of calm and cucumber away from the madness of the rest of the Fringe.