Return of the Grumpy Old Woman

Jenny Éclair, Ipswich Corn Exchange, September 28 THERE isn't many comedians who can admit they are losing bladder control, are getting grumpier by the day and have hacked into their daughter's diary whilst still keeping an audience on side.

Jenny Éclair, Ipswich Corn Exchange, September 28

THERE isn't many comedians who can admit they are losing bladder control, are getting grumpier by the day and have hacked into their daughter's diary whilst still keeping an audience on side.

But as Jenny Eclair's Because I Forgot To Get A Pension tour arrived in Ipswich on Friday, that's exactly what happened.

Eclair, famed for her outspoken comedy, no nonsense approach to life and regular moaning on Grumpy Old Women, quickly had her mainly female audience on side.


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While stand-up comedy is so often focused on mocking others, Eclair's performance saw the tables turned firmly on herself as she admitted just how much she hates the aging process, but was determined to see the funny side.

From the menopause to not understanding anything anymore, forgetfulness and general grumpiness, she paints a vivid picture of the aging woman - and it isn't pretty.

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As the jokes rounded on women in their twenties and why she hates their smug, wrinkle-free faces and lack of menopausal hormones, I found myself shrinking down in my seat for fear of being outed as being at least ten years younger than the average audience member.

Thankfully, Eclair is a smart enough woman to know that predictable men versus women jokes have been done to death, and instead she got the men on side by offering to share some female secrets and in particular, why the perfect little black dress is just so important.

At times, this show felt too much like a performance and it was when she seemed calmer and like she was just talking to a roomful of friends that Eclair was at her funniest.

Fresh from Grumpy Old Women, this show carries on the theme but at a more personal level and is definitely one for women. While I ended up feeling more youthful than I have in ages, my fellow audience members loved it and as I left, I overheard one giggling 40-something say to her friends "I've never laughed about the menopause before - here's to girls nights out," which I think meant Eclair had achieved exactly what she set out to do.

Helen Johns

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