Sunday 25th September

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SR2

Suzi Ruffell: Common review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Ruffell narrates a heart-warming and funny tribute to her family in this very personal piece about working class roots and resilience.

This is a very solid set from Suzi Ruffell.  Common is well-written, warmly told and concludes nicely.  She told me recently that it was meant to express pride for where she’s from – real working class roots back in Portsmouth – and that message comes across loud and clear.

But more than that, the show’s a homage to her dad who – despite making fun of his geezer ways, naive business deals and clumsy acceptance of her lesbian lifestyle – Ruffell seems to admire more than any other.  The show begins and ends with him: his constant reminders for Ruffell to stay lucky, be herself and show resilience seemed funny at the start, but go on to serve her well.

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Category: Comedy
TA1

Tom Allen: Indeed review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Allen displays great observational skills and sharp wit in a colourfully descriptive celebration of English suburbia.

As an unconventional boy of slight build growing up in Bromley, Tom Allen seems to have developed his acerbic wit as a defence mechanism.  Here, in his latest show, he uses it more creatively, applying sharp observational skills and cutting judgment (usually softened by a brilliantly insincere smile) to enliven his tales of suburban normality.

Indeed centres on Allen’s life as a gay man in his early thirties back living with his parents.  Although it’s brave to eschew the spectacular for the mundane, it works excellently here due to the ease with which Allen brings his characters to life.  These are mainly his parents’ friends, whose lives are unspectacular but bursting with the sort of quirks and idiosyncrasies that most know well.

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Category: Comedy
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Tom Allen and Suzi Ruffle: Indeed and Common, Edinburgh Previews

In our seventh and final Edinburgh preview, Ian Cater meets Tom Allen and Suzi Ruffle to discuss their excellent stand-up shows, Indeed and Common.  The pair – close, like-minded friends for years and now popular podcast co-hosts – are performing separately at the Fringe, but touring together afterwards.  This combination seems set to prove a great success as their favoured themes neatly overlap and their comedy styles balance nicely.

“We bonded years ago,” Tom Allen explains, “over a dreadful gig we did for a gay charity.”  He’s talking about his friend and fellow comedian, Suzi Ruffell, with whom he’ll soon tour nationwide once the Fringe is over.  “We realised we both like being alternative, slightly irreverent voices with our skewed views of the world.”

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Category: Comedy