There’s no pussyfooting with Patricia-Ann Young. She likes to launch straight into the heart of the show under dissection, to the point that she starts with the title. Her take on Nish Kumar is a Comedian begins with “Nish Kumar is a comedian, don’t you know…” Matt Green – Alive starts with “Matt Green is indeed alive.” Abigoliah Schamaun’s Girl Going to Hell begins: “Abigoliah Schamaun is going to hell and taking everyone with her”. You get the feeling that Young has psyched herself up for the review and wants to punch the thing into submission in the shortest possible time.
Young has a problem with the middle class, who seem to be everywhere and in need of stamping out. “The UK comedy circuit is saturated with hapless, middle-class middle-Englander types and Green is in danger of fading into a white wash of samey-samey comedians,” she opines. But Nish Kumar is middle class too: “His non-threatening middle class persona keeps it all quite safe and pedestrian,” she says. So at least it isn’t just a white thing. She seems at the same time to have a bee in her blouse about samey “20-something” comedians doing relationship material. This reviewer is angry, Young and bored.
However, she’s also prone to cliche – overuse of the word ‘pedestrian’ isn’t the only shibboleth that marks an essentially lazy reviewer. Young also uses ‘self-deprecating’ over and over, as if there were no better synonyms for what has become a nothing-statement in comedy.
Young seems quite fair with her grading, but her reviews need a bit less zip and a bit more thought.
Jemyma C Noevil