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Comedy Fringe

Fringe 2022: Lou Sanders: One Word: Wow

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Lou Sanders is rarely if ever, one to limit herself to just one word. Instead, with a delightfully warm wit, she propels herself through a wacky and winding stream of half-intelligible stories, that are punctuated with perfectly crafted looks of mock sincerity, or sublimely withering gasps, often directed to individually selected audience members. In this way, rather than being a meticulously planned and cleanly executed show, Lou lets the audience in on something altogether more special – an hour of raw comedy, which feels refreshingly fluid. Perhaps then, despite claiming to have been working on her ego, the “Wow” of the show’s title is better suited to us, her audience, who are left with little else to add after this whirlwind show.

As with many comedians this year, Lou opens with a brief bit about the lockdown, although in her case this is a largely positive affair, having had herself a great “panny-d”. From an excellent one-liner about getting her vaccines to the self-congratulatory excitement of signing up as an NHS lockdown responder, Lou brings an infectious energy a topic we’d be forgiven for growing tired of. Forming what becomes the crux of her show, Lou then reveals how, in a period of pandemic-related self-reflection, she realised she was lacking hobbies outside of work and friends. So, armed with a progress diary and a pair of padded-out biker shorts, she took up roller-skating.

Guided by interludes in which she reads entries from her skating diary, Lou combines her experiences learning to skate, with stories of dating a younger-skater boy she met at her local skate park. Hot off the back of a show-altering breakup, Lou flexes her professional comedian muscles, by humorously bantering on the topic, albeit with evidently erratic energy. Filled with asides and meandering tangents – “this isn’t in the show”, she’d say with a sheepish grin before carrying on regardless – Lou commands the stage with a chaotic charm. Her interactions with the audience, are cheerful and quick-witted, including a specially placed “your mum” joke for a 17-year-old member of the audience.

A natural performer, and a very funny comedian, Lou is a sure bet for an afternoon’s entertainment.

One Word: Wow is at Monkey Barrel Comedy (Monkey Barrel 3) August 21-28 at 17:40.

Image courtesy of Matt Stronge, provided to The Student as press material.