Pam Ann

Strutting and sniping, Ann revels in a confidence which the absolute completeness of her vision allows

Review by Alison Lutton | 05 Aug 2007

Crammed full, with limited leg room: those sitting tight in an almost sold-out Assembly tonight are treated to the full-on budget airline experience before Pam Ann even takes to the stage. And, while pissed-up stag parties are apparently lacking, the crowd is definitely in the mood for the unbridled cattiness and sauce with which Ann is now synonymous.

The concept of One World Alliance is simple: Ann gets into character as various exemplary members of cabin crew from assorted airlines and then (quite literally in the case of Mona, the perfectly-observed, constipated BA stewardess) horses around, exaggerating every verbal tic and affectation to its uproarious max. Tonight, squeezed into a too-tight two-tone uniform topped off by a ridiculous wig, Ann’s appeal is evident: she positively oozes the camp factor. Strutting and sniping, her largely deadpan expression frequently cracked by a wry smile, Ann revels in a confidence which the absolute completeness of her vision allows.

While the basis of her characters is frequently crude – Easyjet crew are common, Virgin Atlantic crew whoreish – Ann’s perfect eye for detail pretty much excuses any labouring of these points. Accessorising an Easyjet uniform with orange PVC boots and a faux-Burberry scarf may be obvious, but that’s pretty much the point here, and it works. Add to this dance-along audience participation, and it becomes clear why One World Alliance is such a riot: it is unbridled 21st-century music hall. Ann’s humour is hardly groundbreaking and may often be cringingly tacky, but like the budget airlines she slates, Ann proves that lowest common denominator sometimes works best.