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The Review They Deserve

Mel Geidroyc and Sue Perkins, best known for presenting the popular Light/Late Lunch programmes, decided to go back to their roots with the help of their band, by writing and performing their own two hour live show for the first time since 1994. It was a decision well made, as I found out when I went to see them at the Brighton Komedia in April... After months of waiting for the tour dates to be announced, let alone for April 6th to arrive, I was becoming impatient in the car on my way to Brighton, returning to my childhood and winging “are we nearly there yet?” throughout the, what seemed a never-ending, journey. Mel and Sue were about to kick off their 38 date tour and I was going to be there, witnessing the first performance. It was all very exciting, and as we pulled up to a shabby building, which looked like it was about to fall down, I was told that we were there. I was able to laugh at the theatre, as I expect Mel and Sue would have, well either that or cry! We walked around the scaffolding to enter the building, and found that it was very pleasant inside, I took a sigh of relief as we realised that the Brighton Komedia wasn’t a complete dive and that the night was going to be very enjoyable. As the queue of people began to grow, there was a sense of solidarity between the awaiting fans. The background music was turned up to what seemed to be full volume, in order to drown out the voice of Mel singing ‘I’m Every Woman’ whilst they were still practising 20mins before we were to be seated. It didn’t. Everyone was looking at each other and smiling at the sound of the rehearsal, all wondering what was going on behind the doors we were patiently queuing at. We were let in slowly but surely, and being near the front of the queue, we were able to get the seats we had discussed we wanted before hand - front row, either just left or right of the centre, which ever was the side of the band. As we sat to the left, once again we had the chance to soak up the good atmosphere that had developed, and waited one last time, for the show to begin. As everyone watched the stage in anticipation for Mel and Sue when the lights went down, a woman with long curly black hair walked passed us and sat on the stage, it was Sue! Mel came from the other side and they didn’t have to say anything before the audience was laughing. As these two French students, with rather fetching wigs, ran off to ‘Burger Kiiiiing’, Mel and Sue appeared on the stage to applause and cheering. They started with the introductions of each other and the band members, to the title song ‘We’re Mel and Sue, we’re going back to our roots’. I wanted to get up and dance to the catchy song, but luckily, I controlled myself. They put all their energy into their performances, and with their crazy dancing, witty stand-up, original sketches and hilarious songs, Mel and Sue’s show was full of variety and laughter. Not satisfied with just their writing and performing talents however, Mel and Sue exercised their musical skills too, showing off their good singing voices in songs such as ‘You are the sunshine of my life’ and ‘Have I told you lately that I love you’ (of course this was not a serious song - it was Sue’s ode to cigarettes!). Also, the audiences of London and Coventry were given exclusive performances of ‘Foxy Lady’, by ‘Leatherhead’, a band with Mel on the drums, and Sue on the guitar. Mel and Sue’s performances were very natural and relaxed, making the audiences feel part of the show. When audience members went to the loo, they were timed, and if you laughed at the wrong time, they would be sure to pick up on it and get another gag from it, such as “was that a cry of pain? “, “no, I think it was epilepsy - someone get that man some help!” This trend carried on after the shows when Mel and Sue stuck around to meet fans and sign autographs. They’re very down to earth and unaware of just how popular they are. They had something for everyone, from sketches about contraception, to the Eurovision song contest. It was a feel-good show; able to appeal to their wide audience obtained from their televisual days of Light and Late Lunch. Therefore, it would have come to a shock to anyone who went to the show, to see a review they received from the Evening Standard by Alexander Games, who might have found the show slightly funnier if he had been paying more attention to what was going on, rather than counting the number of audience members who looked gay. This coming from a man who’s narrow minded views would make it hard for him to attract the attention of either gender, let alone both. This is also very ironic as the flyers advertising the tour had a quote from the Evening Standard - “Slick innovative and very funny, pay attention or you’ll miss all the jokes”, if only he could have followed the advice himself. He obviously took the whole thing far too seriously, something that even Mel and Sue don’t do. However, he was inundated with complaints from Mel and Sue fans everywhere, so much so, he commented about it whilst slating some other poor soul’s show in his next review, which just goes to show how much support the girls have, and will continue to have, throughout their careers which will no doubt go from strength to strength. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the evening; Mel and Sue obviously did too. It was well worth waiting for, I just hope it isn’t too long until the next one! By Kim Potter