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Review: Susan Calman, Ladylike – The Lowry, Salford

Okay, full disclosure here. I am a very liberal, woolly, left-leaning feminist.


So going along to the Lowry on a Sunday evening to see a 4 foot 11 Scottish lesbian comedian who frequently appears on satirical comedy shows is right up my alley.

I’m going to be using words such as ‘lovely’ to describe Susan and the show, because that is what it was.

Calman’s background was growing up gay in Glasgow, which she described as being like “a vegan in an abattoir”. Overall this comic has not had the smoothest of routes to the top.

It was one five-minute slot at the Stand in Glasgow that made her quit her highly paid lawyer’s job at the age of 30.

Now in 2015, she has an Edinburgh comedy award nomination under her belt and is touring nationally.

Which is lovely.


Walking into the Quays Theatre I noticed that I was by far the youngest person there – by quite some distance. Do not underestimate the power of the BBC Radio 4 audience!

The first half acted as an introduction to Calman; I enjoyed the complaints about popular Radio 4 News Quiz, including one audience member criticising the producers for having Susan on the show was “ramming homosexuality down their throat”.

The second half focused more on her relationship with her wife and trying to be happy with herself.

Her dancing finale was both sweet and touching and I found myself welling up watching it. I’m sure I wasn’t alone.

My one gripe, I’m astonished she managed to completely gloss over her opinions on the recent Scottish independence referendum. Given that the show is so full of personal thoughts it felt like there was a big elephant in the room – wearing the Scottish flag.

That being said, ‘Ladylike’ is the closest comedy gets to a big warm hug from your best friend. Which is lovely!

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.

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