Lucy Twerks It Out For Hull Audience.
By Michelle Dee. Lucy Beaumont photos by Mark Richardson
Attended my first ever Stand Up show last night. It was Lucy Beaumont upstairs at Union Mash Up, trying out a few things before she heads off for the
wilds of the Edinburgh Fringe, with her new show We Can Twerk It Out.
With her winning smile, blonde hair piled high on her head, wearing a lilac zip-up hoody, Lucy Beaumont is every bit the girl next door, and she is warmly welcomed back to her hometown by the Hull audience.
Since winning the BBC New Comedy Award in 2012, the pixie-like comedienne has appeared on comedy stages up and down the country, picked up a
Best Newcomer Chortle Award, guested on Radio 4's The Unbelievable Truth and appeared on Live At The Electric on BBC3.
But tonight before Lucy, came Peter. Peter Brush is a comic from the North. He shuffles on stage in ill-fitting shirt and trousers, head down, sort of small and awkward, running his fingers through a mop of dark hair. In the first five minutes he's covered bread, brass bands and bread again.
He tells jokes in a roundabout sort of way, deconstructing the gag, finding the need to justify, when none was called for, sometimes pre-empting the audience reaction before delivering the punch line.
Peter visits birth, death, religion and along the way presents some very reasoned argument for re-incarnation.
He also worries whether God can see his Facebook profile. I think the Hull audience quickly warmed to him, his insecurities and incessant unease.
Tonight, Lucy's was a preview show; a work in progress; a way to test what was working and what was not. From the audience reactions, I think there won't be much being crossed off the list. Having the list on stage became something of a gag in itself.
Lucy Beaumont is very funny and clever, and in creating this very lovable, slightly naive, endearing persona she allows an audience to be charmed by her wide-eyed innocence and surreal real-life humour. Lucy could read the take-away menu and she'd get laughs. It is a persona, right?
Hull's recent successes present something of a problem for Lucy - much of her schtick involves Hull being the butt of the joke, but as we all know Hull is the joke no longer.
Lucy's gentle digs at Hull are allowed because she's a local, and she's sort of flying a flag for the city, and the ‘Ull accent out there in the comedy world: but woe betide the outsider who tries.
Despite her small stature (she barely reaches the microphone), Lucy commands the attention of the audience with ease. The Union Mash Up crowd lap up all the local colour as Lucy regales us with stories, with all sincerity, from her rather bizarre, varied and disorderly life.
I do wonder how this translates outside of her hometown.
Her attachment to Hull is almost as strong as her attachment to her beige handbag, which stays on her arm throughout the set.
None of this would work if she didn't have that crucial ingredient, that thing every comic needs...timing. Johnny Vegas has marveled at Lucy's sense of timing, even going as far as saying that she makes him want to go back on the circuit, and be a better stand-up.
High praise, indeed.
After the show she bumped into her old neighbour, Trevor and I overhear them reminiscing about the time they were having a party a few years back, when a meteorite dropped from the sky and landed in the garden with them... it would seem extraordinary things really do just happen to our Lucy.
This week on Wednesday 11th June 2014 at 10pm on BBC Radio 2 you can hear the pilot episode of Lucy's new radio sitcom,
To Hull and Back written by and starring Lucy, alongside another of Hull's funny women Maureen Lipman with
Red Dwarf's Norman Lovett, and Kerrie Marsh from the sketch troupe, Scarlet Lights.
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