Kerry Godliman review – relatable laughs that get the job done | Kerry Godliman

KThe title of Erry Godliman’s show, Bosh, is taken from a line by Greg Davies on Channel 4’s Taskmaster: “There goes Godliman, boshing along.” The idea is that the South Londoner is a practical person, who works quickly on things and gets them done. But life gets in the way – that’s where the comedy comes in. The abrupt efficiencies of her motherhood contrast with books about parenthood and their lofty ideals. 1980s-style teen romance is celebrated contra further developments of digital dating. Elsewhere, we find Godliman trying to book a vacation only to discover that in the age of the internet the process has been recast as a high-stakes race against time.

As these examples imply, it’s not conceit that greatly distinguishes Godliman from many other comics exaggerating their dismay at modern life. Rare is the unroutine middle-aged prankster educating young people about life before cellphones – though not all of them have lines as good as Godliman’s on flirting and eggplant. Luckily, this is one of many memorable word pictures – like the one about using the breathing hole in massage tables to practice being a nun. In tandem with the mouth personality of the 48-year-old woman – outspoken but still happy to throw herself under the bus – this ensures that Godliman’s 70 minutes turn of familiar horizon never feels secondhand.

The show’s pacing adjusts for its final third, when the After Life star tells longer stories about giving birth on Call the Midwife and losing her cat during a move. Both prioritize telling incident over comedic structure; there are laughs along the way, but muted climaxes. Both sell Godliman herself as the butt of the joke – but only insofar as we all are. His failings (nostalgia for placemats; a little fondness for camping too much many) are no crazier than yours or mine, his insights are still relevant – even when they’re as clever as his data-gathering internet advice, his erratic behavior online is a deeply dubious guide to who she really is. Its comedy is perhaps more so – and if it does reveal a recognizable type of comedy, it does so with vigor, charm and plenty of good gags.

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