Pam Ann Flies High And Low
That Stewart Lee and Pam Ann are currently both appearing at Leicester Square Theatre shows that the programmer has a sense of humour on a par with the acts they book.
It is harder to imagine a more different pair of comedians. Lee is an erudite family man, usually equipped with nothing more than a microphone, who tells layered and thought-provoking stories often grounded in the mundanity of existence and his own life. In his latest outing, A Room With A Stew, he throws out lines like “No one is equipped to review me” and “Don’t clap. You’re applauding your own ability to remember things”, which do indeed provoke thoughts.
Pam Ann is the anti-Lee in almost every regard. Demonstrating that the Leicester Square Theatre’s PA probably does go up to 11, her new show Queen Of The Sky is a loud and brash creation jet-powered by Caroline Reid’s high camp depiction of an over-sexed air stewardess with three things on her mind: cock, cocaine and more cock. If this sounds like rather a thin premise for an entire two-part show, it is but that doesn’t stop it being a raucous journey all the same.
Queen Of The Sky takes off like the afterparty at the end of the universe, replete with thumping music, disco lighting and a whirling Pam Ann. Her opening half performance is, like the character, a peripatetic shambles which unsteadily wanders from topic to topic, often stumbling over its own feet; she clumsily deals with one drunken pair in the front row and, during one skit, refers to herself with her real name.
Thankfully, Pam Ann’s signature NSFW video mashups are back. In the past, she’s travelled on the Titanic, been an Alpine governess and joined the crew of Pan Am. Her latest 2D foray sees her arrive in Downton Abbey — sorry, Downton Galley — where its po-faced residents meet the outrageous trolley dolly and are casually corrupted by her talk of (you guessed it) cock, cocaine and more cock.
The second half is a more studied affair in the art of comedy. Sure, it’s a hot mess which threatens to boil over at any moment but there’s something about Pam Ann which strings you along for the duration in the same way one would watch a slo-mo car crash: her unpredictable and brazen political correctness crosses over the evening from cheeky pokes at the headlines to gags that Jim Davidson would have been proud of 30 years ago (for example, pointing out that her black colleague was difficult to spot in the dark).
Does the world need more Pam Anns or Stewart Lees? That depends on taste but, going by the evidence, comedy would be a darker place without Pam Ann in it.
Pam Ann’s Queen Of The Sky continues at the Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place Wc2H 7BX, until 7 November. Tickets £12-£50. Londonist saw this production on a complimentary ticket.
Last Updated 04 October 2015