Mandy Muden

Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club – Huntingdon Hall (Worcester) 23rd July 2021

The evening was billed as an “all female special” in an attempt to sex the event up, I guess?

On the evening there were no concerns about social distancing and the determined few were determined to have a special time. Jo Enright had the unenviable task of warming up the night, the room and the audience. And this was her mission, filling her slots with observed homilies, mild home-truths and tales of housework.

Working the room with her guitar and a pencil case of chords Kate Lucas entertained her audience with her dark ditties. The audience played their part with faux-shock. The quiet cliché levelled at females is they only write and perform about being female. Wrong. Lucas tackles our preoccupation with class and the classy song about having the confidence of someone who shopped in Waitrose was degree level sharp! The sing-along anthem about the injustices of banking, or more specifically Santander’s fines, ushered in a windfall of guffaws. The winsome smile and open, inviting eyes may lull some but be afraid be amusingly afraid of this comedian’s vitriolic and whimsical tirades put to minor chords.

Photo of Meryl O'Rourke
Meryl O’Rourke

Meryl O’Rourke’s struck a chord with her motherly take on adulthood. She was unafraid to mine her own life and that of her daughter’s young life to discover the comedic diamonds hidden in the layers of everyday life. O’Rourke may have been nervous following a 16 month hiatus from the stage but her tenacity and professionalism will be remembered long after the startled rabbit delivery is forgotten.  

As the last act of the night Mandy Muden managed to pull it out of the hat, so to speak. The tradition of corrupting magic tricks, for laughs, is a tradition long established and the sleight of hand that ensures some tricks work, in much amazement, is equally entrenched. Consequently, Muden’s audience were impressed with the cheap pyrotechnics and the music hall theatrics – smoke and mirrors – but also the tricks allowing us to work out how the illusions work at times. Moreover, Muden’s self-mocking style will ensure the Magic Circle do not come to police her jocular approach. This magi-comedian also styles out her act with a nice line in self-deprecating humour: “I am a size 6…shoe” and of course she is a “medium…not a fortune teller or a clairvoyant” which is how she introduced her eye-rolling predictions. Predictably, I think we will be marvelling at Mandy Muden’s act for a few years to come…

Looking to the future, perhaps there will be a time when there is no need to bill a night of comedy as an “all female special,” then we will know we have moved on and no longer hide behind society’s “smoke and mirrors.” Now wouldn’t that be special?

By: The Swilgate Scuttler

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