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14th Aug 2018

FRINGE 2018: Why you need to see… Lou Conran

Nooruddean Choudry

Who: Lou Conran

What: At Least I’m Not Dog Poo Darren

Where: Just the Tonic at The Caves – Just Out of the Box

When: 3.20pm


Last year, Lou Conran received rave reviews for ‘I love Lou C’. It centred around the very difficult and personal subject of having to terminate a pregnancy after five months. That Conran was able to find humour in such a sad experience is testament to her gift for comedy. It also speaks of her bravery, and eagerness to help others going through similar.

It doesn’t matter how strong or funny you are, that must have been a tough fucking run. This year, Lou isn’t having to shoulder such an emotional weight, and it is an absolute joy to watch her at her brilliantly daft best and giving full rein to her energetic brand of anarchic humour. You get a real sense that she’s having the time of her life, and it’s infectious.

Not that ‘At Least I’m Not Dog Poo Darren’ isn’t without poignancy. The ‘Dog Poo Darren’ in question features in a newspaper article that Conran has framed on her wall, as a reminder that as tough as life gets, at least she’s not shovelling canine turds into a van. We learn of the many missteps and misadventures that led Lou to a career in standup comedy.

It is our good fortune they did. So skilled is Lou at spinning a side-achingly funny yarn that it sometimes feels like you’re watching an ensemble play.

In describing her friends, enemies, lovers and work colleagues, her characterisation is so good that it is as if they’ve just entered the stage themselves. She is somehow able to create fully formed personas through expressions and noises alone. It’s something to behold. Her cast is expanded even further by her peerless crowd work. Four or five front-rowers become integral to the show.

The ‘comedian’s comedian’ is an overused term, but in looking to navigate the hundreds of shows on offer at the Fringe, the number of fellow comics who suggested Conran was noticeable. If you go and see her, you’ll quickly realise there’s no one else you’d rather spend an hour with. Reboot Absolutely Fabulous immediately and stick her in it, please.

You can buy tickets for At Least I’m Not Dog Poo Darren here.

Want more from the Edinburgh Fringe?

Listen to the JOE at the Edinburgh Fringe podcast with Nooruddean Choudry and Si Clancy

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