Review: Keep Calman Carry On – Susan Calman at the Soho Theatre, London

susan-calman-450-px5 out of 5 stars

There isn’t really any way to describe Susan’s show other than utterly hilarious. I spent the entire hour laughing and left with ribs and mouth aching and a new appreciation of just how much laughter can lift your spirits.

I found Susan Calman not through her comedy shows or her frequent appearances on Radio 4 but because she wrote a rather fabulous book about how depression has affected her life – “Cheer Up, Love! Adventures with the Crab of Hate”.  It’s a very honest book and, unsurprisingly given how excellent a comedienne she is, a very funny one; not only did it help me frame and bring into focus my own encounters with depression but in sharing it with family and friends it helped them both understand the effects of what Susan has termed the Crab of Hate and what I refer to as the Fox of Fear and empathise with such experiences.

Her current stand-up routine – first aired at the Edinburgh Fringe – does not solely focus on her book. In fact she barely mentions it and the routine is a glorious mix of current affairs, feminism, general life, and her pointed but not unpleasantly acerbic wit. Given that I am a queer woman with a keen interest in politics and feminism she could have written this show for me. I don’t think I could have enjoyed it more than I did – except I would have liked it to be longer, and when she takes it on tour starting in December it will be, so I might just have to try and catch it again – but I am under no illusion that Susan’s brand of comedy will meet with universal approval. However I tend to assume that if you’re reading my blog and my reviews then it’s because we share similar tastes so I therefore say without reservation that you’ll have a brilliant time and should definitely get a ticket if you can.  If you’ve sound this review by accident then I suggest you check out Susan’s website and twitter to see if she is the sort of person who will make you laugh before you commit yourself (but I still think you should go anyway.

Susan’s run at the Soho Theatre is now over but she’s going on tour around the country over the next six months or so. I do urge you to catch a show if you can and dates and links to the venues so you can buy tickets can be found on Susan’s website here.

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