Lou Sanders

The Mr. G Summer Heights High Singalong

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18/08/16

Udderbelly, George Square Gardens, Edinburgh

I am really excited about this event; Summer Heights High is a finely crafted piece of observational comedy and I’ve watched it more times than I care to admit.

And it starts well: the crowd is giddy; we are all given Mr G masks; some people are even in costume – and it’s lovely to see that Lou Sanders is our host for the night; we really enjoyed her 2015 Fringe show and are hoping we’ll be able to find the time to make it along to this year’s (What’s That Lady Doing? 20.10 each evening in the Pleasance Dome).

But sadly, the show doesn’t really work. There’s a technical failure (the screen goes blank for a good ten minutes and we lose a section, because there’s no time to rewind). But this isn’t the biggest issue. The real problem is the nature of the programme itself: it doesn’t work as a singalong. There are no full length songs at all, just snippets and odd lines, cleverly giving the impression – when you’re watching the series – of a complete school musical, but simply inadequate for a satisfying communal karaoke.

It’s a shame, but the excitement soon abates and the atmosphere is leaden. Even the appearance of a Celine lookalike, surely designed to wow the punters, fails to dispel the general sense of disappointment. Sanders does her best to keep the audience engaged but she’s fighting a losing battle, and it’s a subdued crowd that leaves the Udderbelly at 1 am.

It’s still a brilliant TV show though.

2.8 stars

Susan Singfield

 

Lou Sanders: Excuse Me, You’re Sitting On My Penis Again

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18/08/15

Laughing Horse@City Cafe, Edinburgh

It’s thanks to Richard Herring that we’re here. We heard his RHLSTP (Ruh-Huh-Luh-Stuh-Puh!) interview with Lou Sanders, and rather liked the sound of her. So we sought out her show in Edinburgh, and we’re very glad we did.

This is a Free Fringe event, and the venue’s a bit on the rough and ready side – a hot and sweaty cellar room, with fold-up chairs and no raking – but we’ve got seats at the front and we’re comfortable enough. And Sanders is every bit as daft and energetic as the podcast suggested.

The show’s premise is typically odd: Sanders decides to apply to Eton. Why not? Everybody knows that Eton alumni are hugely successful. Why shouldn’t a grown woman without access to the fees apply to an elite boys’ school? What could possibly go wrong?

Sanders is a charming performer. The show is ridiculous – in a delightful way. There are masks, there are audio clips, and there’s a lot of silliness – but, actually, there are serious points being made here too. Why is privilege only conferred on to a few? Why do the rest of us accept we can’t have what they’ve got?

So if you’re at a loose end at 5.30pm, and find yourself in the Old Town – this one’s definitely worth queuing for.

4 stars

Susan Singfield