has been taking some time off stand-up comedy for the past four years
while she wrote a few novels and got her head back together. So this has
been marketed as something of a “comeback show,” which in a way puts
more pressure on the performer than if it had been just a low key return.
Cameron has always been something of a trailblazer.
She was one of Britain’s first, if not the first, openly lesbian
television personalities. As such, there has always been something of a
weight of responsibility on her, as kind of a “spokesperson for her
people.” But this also gives her a certain freedom that other gay female
comics don’t have; she has no need to explain or justify herself, she
can simply jump straight in both feet first.
At one point Cameron says that “this isn’t just
going to be a lesbian show,” but in all honesty to a great extent it is.
Probably two thirds of the material deals with lesbianism in one way or
another, and along the way she provides some education on lesbian
lifestyle for the straight folk among the audience, including why lesbians
don’t wear flip-flops, and why they always travel around in such large
groups. But there is plenty of non-lesbian material also, including a very
funny routine about nut allergies.
I couldn’t help feeling, however, that maybe she
has been living in middle-class London suburbia too long, and some of the
material was misjudged for an Edinburgh fringe audience. Observational
comedy needs to stay within the frame of reference of its audience, and
for instance a routine about the problems of buying jeans in Abercrombie
and Fitch went right over my head, and I suspect those of many of the
I also felt that the delivery was slightly nervy and
faltering, and I suspect she was having a bit of an off night. Maybe it
was the stifling heat of the room, or possibly it was because Neil and
Christine Hamilton were in the audience which is enough to put anyone off
their stride, but things just didn’t seem to be flowing right, and I
think seen on a different night this might have been an altogether
But, ever the professional, in the end she managed
to pull things together, and to finish with five minutes of frenetic
material that was seat-wettingly funny. So in the end I’m not sure what
to say about this performance. If she wasn’t at her best, and she
certainly wasn’t, then at least she was “good enough”, and maybe
it’s just that stand-up is a game that requires constant practice and
she’s just a bit rusty. I hope she doesn’t stay away so long before
the next time.