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S. J. Parris and Stephanie Merritt

Review < Back

Miranda Hart: My, What I Call Live Show – 'a triumph of old-school entertainment'

Sunday 16th March 2014

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Ilast saw Miranda Hart performing live standup at the Edinburgh fringe in 2004, before her Radio 4 show Miranda Hart's Joke Shop paved the way for the television sitcom that turned her into the kind of star who can sell out the O2. Back then she was hosting a Funny Women gig to a room of about 30 people, performing snippets of her own comedy in between introducing the other acts. Even in that intimate venue she possessed a formidable stage presence, though her material was unusual in how retro it seemed compared with the prevailing currents of standup. Eschewing whimsy, politics or the urge to shock, Hart gave us a very English upper-middle-class comedy of embarrassment. Much of it centred around her posh mother's tendency to make unwittingly homophobic or racist comments in a loud voice, followed by the all-purpose get-out, "Such fun!" Hart seemed to inhabit the same world as Margot from The Good Life, but with an endearing lack of the necessary social polish and a joyous dose of frankness...

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