Pam Ann is the outrageous air hostess alter ego of Australian comic Caroline Reid. She has become a cult figure and a gay icon and has also attracted celebrity followers such as Madonna.
Reid takes to the stage after a smut laden video introduction to sing an opening number and whip her loyal fans into a frenzy. If one thing can be said of her as a performer, it is that she knows how to deliver what her audience wants.
Her style is high camp and at times borders upon cabaret. She prances about the stage in her trademark blue air hostess uniform delivering a series of skits parodying stereotypes about airhostesses and cabin crew.
One of the best features of the performance is that she keeps up the pretence of the show as a flight throughout, referring to the front stalls as ‘first class,’ the rear stalls as ‘business class’ and the circle as ‘economy.’ This gives her ample opportunity to pick on the audience and weave individuals into the show, providing some of the best comedic moments of the performance.
Audience interaction is on of the strongest elements of the show. Her outrageous and highly personal comments provide some of the biggest laughs of the evening. Towards the end, she takes interacting with the audience to the next level by writhing around on the laps of several men as a demonstration of the ‘personal service’ which new first class passengers receive on Virgin Atlantic flights!
Unfortunately, after an hour and a half with Pan Ann, the character begins to feel a tad one dimensional. Much of the material lapses into playing with easy stereotypes and cheap innuendo. There are moments of gold but the material simply isn’t varied enough to sustain a show of this length effectively.
The upfront style of Pam Ann recalls other performers such as Dame Edna Everage and inspires a similar cult following. While this show, which treads much of the same ground as previous outings, will appeal to existing fans, it isn’t likely to win her many new followers.
If you like your comedy to be camp, kitsch and not at all demanding then Pam Ann You F’Coffee may well be for you. The show does have its stand out moments and is carried by the sheer gutsy nature of Reid’s comic creation, however the limited range of the subject matter and cheapness of some of the gags does let it down.
Pam Ann You F’Coffee is at The Bloomsbury Theatre at 8pm, ends 5 May. Tickets £22 – £26