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ED FRINGE REVIEW Suzi Ruffell, Keeping It Classy

★ ★ ★ ★

This year, Suzi Ruffell's Keeping It Classy with her new show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

One thing that really struck me when I interviewed Suzi in July was how excited she was about the Fringe. Unlike many comedians, she couldn't wait to go up there. She loved performing the previews and was more confident with her material than ever before.

Having now watched her show I can completely understand why she was so pleased with her new hour, Keeping It Classy.

She begins by letting people know three things; that she's a reptile lover, a lesbian and working class.

Of course it shouldn't matter what her sexuality or class is and this doesn't escape Suzi, who at the top of the show admits it's odd that she needs to explain what she's into sexually to her parents. Straight people never need to.

She also makes a great point about the type of lesbians we see on TV; Balding, Toksvig and Perkins - none of whom are working class. However an EPG fail when Suzi Ruffell did appear on television might have put TV people off. But I really hope not, because Suzi's voice is one that needs to be heard.

She's open, she's honest and she speaks for many people, not just working class lesbians who love reptiles. As neither of those things I was still able to relate and empathise with what Suzi was saying.

When she revealed that six times this year she's been heckled by men shouting "I can fix you" after they learn that she's lesbian, I felt anger. When she was ogled over by a man in a club who was adamant on a threesome with Suzi and her then date, I too felt anger. We shouldn't be hearing stories like this is in 2017.

And I felt sad when Suzi opened up about the most difficult month of her life but of course this is a comedy show, not a lecture and Suzi absolutely struck the right balance between saying what's important to her and what she feels passionate about and telling jokes.

Because above all Suzi is very funny, and it's been said that through humour you learn to trust someone so wand this is absolutely the case with Suzi. Which is why when she would dip into the more serious topics I'd really care for what she has to say.

Another of Suzi's great strengths is storytelling and the effortless way in which she tells a story really shines through in Keeping It Classy. She has the audience captivated right from the start and I left after an hour feeling as though I really knew her, her family and some of the struggles she's faced in the last year.

I didn't mind when she called herself a legend and I didn't even mind when shead describe moments the mouthy cow (her words, not mine) inside of her came out. Let's be honest, we all need a mouthy cow moment every now and then. 

Finally, I know it's a bit of a cliché, but sometimes you have to go through shit to come out at the other end and the confidence Suzi has shown at this year's Fringe proves that as a result of everything she's gone through recently she's found her voice as a comedian, produced an excellent hour and I'm really excited to see what Suzi will do next.

This is only the start for Suzi and I'm almost certain that a five-star show isn't far away.

Suzi Ruffell: Keeping It Classy runs until Sunday 27th August at 9:45pm at the Pleasance Courtyard (Pleasance Below)


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