by Ed Fortune
Comedy is frequently about stacking talent on top of talent. Standing up and telling jokes can be tough, but combining stand-up with another strength (and doing it well) can be tricky to pull off. Siân Docksey is not only a very funny comedian but also a professional pole dancer, and combines both skills to produce something incredibly special.
The show opens with an utterly unique take on the dead parrot sketch and carries on in this vein; there’s plenty for pop culture fans to love here. Siân explains the difficulty involved in getting a large metal pole into a fringe theatre venue and reveals that pole dancing (something that she’s done professionally for years) was also the thing that kept her sane and healthy during the pandemic, for a given value of both those things. She sometimes calls it her big metal boyfriend. Things get steadily funnier from there on in.
Siân’s style is fast, brutal, and very funny, with a delivery style that is relentless and honest throughout. The pole skills are also equally very strong, each choice of move carefully picked to underline each point or joke. Innately feminist, very queer, quite geeky, and perhaps uncomfortable for some, this show is a joy.
The humour is rich and clever, as well as solid geeky fun in places. Siân is bisexual, and she discusses her sexuality and other LGBTQIA+ matters in a charming and accessible way. The observational comedy is rich and warm; the blend between brutal honesty and utter silliness is perfect here. Siân curves from existential dread into surreal joy effortlessly, and the resultant tone shift is bloody funny. Then she gets on to the pole and continues to tell more jokes blended with more insight, but this time upside down. Or hanging off the pole by one leg.
Delivering a memorable, clever dialogue is hard. Siân does it halfway up the ceiling whilst at an angle you have to bend your head to see. Costumes, props and some very clever foreshadowing is used to keep the pace up throughout the act. In short, this is brilliant. Go see.