Susan Riddell @ Monkey Barrel

Rough-around-the-edges yet charming debut from Susan Riddell

Review by Polly Glynn | 04 Aug 2019
  • Susan Riddell

Susan Riddell is lazy. Not in her writing, just in her outlook and it’s a big mood. She’d much rather stay in bed than go out, prefers to take advantage of the ludicrous M&S Dine in for a Tenner deal than sample haute cuisine at a fancy restaurant and will strut her stuff in loungewear over Vera Wang.

The concept of pals moving on with their lives while you stay the same is far from a new exploration in comedy (insert here tired jokes about being single/sans kids/living with your parents). But somehow, Riddell manages to freshen this up. She brings a realness and vibrancy to such themes with her bubbling pace and weegie words. Talk of planning her funeral like wedding dress shopping really hits the high notes. 

Duvet Day speeds along through some well-written, thematically-linked club sets, but they don’t resonate in the same raucous way they would on a Saturday night at The Stand. The section about sex robots is clearly well-honed and provides a little punch at the end of the hour, but despite it touching on laziness in the modern world, it doesn’t seem to sit flush with the rest of the friendlier, softer material featured. Also, learning that the front row of her audience find her accent fairly impenetrable becomes a double-edged sword for Riddell – she becomes easily distracted, breaking the narrative she’d previously created whenever she has to explain Marks and Spencer’s, but endears herself to the rest of the room as she ensures everyone there has a good time.

It’s clear Riddell has the touch of the everywoman and is in the nascent stages of finding her wider, loyal audience.

Susan Ridell: Duvet Day, Monkey Barrel (Monkey Barrel 5), until 25 Aug (not 12), 7.15pm, £5/PWYW