Wake-Up Call’ is a show about revelations, realisations and epiphanies – both large and small. Subjects covered include: Bin collection schedules, the novels of Jean Rhys, cats, school fair booze tombolas, the Scottish Enlightenment, pressure washers and Huel. It’s an exuberant, silly show with some wisdom sprinkled on top.
The show takes its inspiration from the unwanted Wake Up Calls we all receive in life. Sometimes the universe is like the aggressive receptionist at the Guildford Premier Inn, forcing you to do get up and do things when you’d rather just stay in bed. Like a really good episode of Casualty, this show starts with a medical emergency, and then expands to talk about anxiety, grief, love, loss, shame and regret, with a bit of sauciness thrown in for the dads.
There’s also some practical advice on midlife crisis management. Lucy’s friends are crumbling around her amid the pressures of young children, elderly parents, and the depredations of age. Since Lucy’s midlife crisis has been chronic rather than acute (it started when she was about 25 and just won’t quit) she’s been dispensing tips on what to do when you realise all your achievements are meaningless, and that life is just one long banquet of disappointments on the way to the sweet release of death. An antidote to “toxic positivity”, this show revels in healthy cynicism. The only reason Lucy has a “Live Laugh Love” sign on her house is that it’s more effective at keeping people away than “No Cold Callers”. Lucy does find joy and positivity in some of life’s bleaker moments, but she’s not going to try and inspire you – the show’s messages read less like motivational quotes, more like Country Music song titles: “It’s Hard to Have a Breakdown When You’re Already Broken”, “You’ll Never Meet a Man Called Keith who Doesn’t Own a Shed”, “If You Want a Peaceful Home, Don’t Marry a Banjo Player” etc.
A journalist once described Lucy’s comedy as “middle-aged, middle-class and middle-of-the-road”, we’re not sure he intended it as a compliment, but have to admit he was spot on. This is comedy for middle aged women and anyone who loves them. If you want to find out what your mum, your wife or your eccentric aunties are really thinking, this is the show for you. If you’re medically curious, you can find out about Lucy’s unusual illnesses, and she’ll almost certainly end up talking about her love of Radio 2’s Ken Bruce and what happened when she recently appeared in Eastenders. Lucy uses Jenny Joseph’s iconic poem ‘Warning’ as a starting point to ask what do women want in their latter years, and what the hell is wrong with Paul Hollywood
Lucy is incredibly excited about coming back to her beloved Edinburgh fringe – she says that missing the last two years has been torture, and she’s looking forward to strengthening her thigh muscles with all the hills and her drinking muscles with all the booze at her favourite festival in her favourite city. Wake Up Call captures the mood of introspection and reflection that has prevailed over the last few years, but looks to the future and asks where we go from here.
Show: Lucy Porter: Wake-Up Call
Dates: 3rd – 20th August (not 15th)
Venue Pleasance Courtyard – Pleasance Fourth
Address: 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ
Price: Previews £10 Weekend £18/£16.50 Weekday £16/£14.50