Isy Suttie, Touring | reviews, news & interviews
Isy Suttie, Touring
Isy Suttie, Touring
Laidback comedy about finding The One
Isy Suttie, an ever-smiling and engaging stand-up, may come across as a real-life version of Dobby, the perpetually nice character she played in Peep Show, but that's somewhat to deceive. While she is an immensely warm comic she used to have, she told us at Winchester Discovery Centre, some very strict rules about choosing a boyfriend; he must be grammatically aware of the difference between your and you're (I have no problem with that, obviously) and, most strikingly, he mustn't like the sea – “It's just water that moves a bit”.
The Actual Book Tour is a live accompaniment to her new book, The Actual One, which provides this gentle and conversational show's anecdotes about not wanting to grow up. When she was in her late 20s, Suttie said, all her friends were getting married, having children they named “Arthur, Sourdough and Mindfulness” and moving to the country. She resisted the trend, actively seeking out a footloose singleton's life, and meeting lots of no-hopers along the way (she's now happily settled and a mother, so this show is written with a wry knowingness).
She occasionally broke off from the story-telling to read from the book
Suttie occasionally broke off from the story-telling to read a passage from the book or to sing a song – most memorably her droll Eastern European flatmate's sort-of pick-me-up after Suttie was dumped by another loser boyfriend, “We All Die Alone”, which is worthy of Kurt Weill. She didn't spare herself in the stories, either, particularly in the one about how she made a five-foot-tall papier-mâché penguin she named Roy; made as a show of love for the boyfriend she thought was The One, Roy stood in a corner of his bedroom only to witness the dying embers of their relationship.
There were a few sections that worked less well – reading from teenage exam papers really is a no-no and there was a weird diversion about a postbox in Portsmouth – but such is her bubbliness, she pulled it off. And if Suttie has a slight tendency to feyness, then she knows just when to drop a little acid into the mix; a tale (with musical accompaniment) about the busker who entertains in the bus station of her hometown, Matlock in Derbyshire, went in a wholly unexpected direction.
The evening was a little underpowered the night I saw it, but the anecdotes were always funny and touching, and there's a lot of understated wisdom in what she has to say.
- Isy Suttie is at Bath Literature Festival on 27 February; and touring later in the year
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?