Pam Ann: Touch Trolley Run To Galley
Putting the’easy’ into Easy Jet, Australian glamour puss Caroline Reid’s comic creation Pam Ann, who boasts of “an arsehole so stretched it looks like a hippo’s yawn” (!) is not one for those who like subtle or PC routines. The Michelle Visage lookalike, now celebrating twenty years of crude campy outrage, pastiches cabin crew stereotypes- a trashy woman acting a cut above.
The audience interaction in the first half, as she selects some men to portray The Spice Girls, doesn’t quite work: she’s a little heavy handed with them,and it feels like she’s coasting it a bit. The second half picks up considerably though- a demented, coke-fuelled work-out set to Sia’s Chandelier is truly inspired, and there’s tighter material than the fabulous retro air stewardess Lycra she sports. A video parody of The Great British Bake Off is jaw-dropping, and has some fantastically surreal reaction shots.
It’s the more savage one-liners though which evoke gasps and guffaws in equal measure-from the exacting Chinese ‘tiger moms’ and their demands for academic perfection, to ISIS, via size zero obsessed French people. Of course,the recent United Airlines incident is alluded to a couple of times. Few taboos are off-limits.
However, a sliver of pathos emerges when she chides gay people (who comprise a huge chunk of her fanbase) for getting married and adopting children, because they don’t want to hang out with her anymore. It’s actually rather sweet, and brings a poignant tang to the show.
Pam Ann is obviously not for everyone-she’s a deliberate provocateur-but she picks the bones of cultural cliches rather than racial ones, flosses those perfect teeth with them, and smiles a winning smile which suggests the barbs are not malicious.
Nobody is safe from her whirlwind tour of insults. Ultimately, it’s a comedy show which lands softly-even if she can’t get her filthy tongue around Arbroath and Cumbernauld. She’s done worse with that potty mouth of hers-the little minx.