This show is described by its maker as a “work-in-progress.” It has to be said that it seems to have made a great deal of progress already. This is not your usual stand-up routine of random knob gags and continual ribbing of hapless audience members (Though, to be fair, it does have a couple of well-placed and very funny knob gags, and, tonight, one instance of pointed audience ribbing, in this case well-deserved). This is story-telling, and not the tedious look-at-me-I’m-a-New-Age-druid-in-touch-with-my-Bardic-roots type. No. This is the expertly told tale of how Diane Spencer and her true love and fellow comic tried to find a house they could afford in London (is there such a thing?), settled for one they couldn’t afford, and then had to find some money to fund it. And more importantly, to fix it. Even a house in London you can’t afford will still be a wreck that somehow has to be made habitable. Hence her reluctant acceptance of an offer of lucrative employment, writing a one-woman show for Nancy Dell’Olio. That’s right. And you may well imagine what sort of job that might be. Diane Spencer is a top-class storyteller and makes the narrative of this tale never less than riveting. Perfectly timed gags; wicked impressions of vile estate agents, and of the toweringly narcissistic and talentless Nancy; gruesome evocations of the state of the dream home to be, and how the strain of coping with it affects the relationship – all are put over with a seemingly effortless, but clearly well-prepared wit – and are just screechingly funny throughout. A major talent.
**** (4 stars)
John Christopher Wood