Helen Prior’s first stand-up comedy show arrives at the Camden Comedy Club as a work in progress, and proves to be fresh, funny, and frank.
Born in Russia but based in Britain for many years, Prior is a veteran both of unfulfilling marriages and invasive cancers, but her black humour rarely fails.
In Adventures of an Old C**t, Prior uses her knowledge of art and culture to illustrate her life story with visual props – a series of laminated cards – and stories which encompass everything from sparrow beaks, cricket boxes and retained gas to feats of endurance and enjoyment later in life.
Connecting well with her audience with questions, casual flirtation, and a winning way with words and phrases, Prior comes across as a confident performer on stage.
Previous work as a tour guide in art galleries has served her well as she uses many key examples of work from Gainsborough, Botticelli, Lichenstein, Van Gogh and Lucien Freud to ilustrate her points.
As a large lady she can wonder how Freud’s Benefits Supervisor Sleeping Fat Sue is worth millions in a world which seems to value a certain standard of beauty. She can also go wild for a glimpse of a hairy male leg!
Never overtly political, Prior’s show does refer to the “hunger for freedom of the mind” pre-Perestroika, and the freedom she found in reaching a Britain of opportunity (and healthcare which saved her life).
This is a very funny show which both celebrates the c-word and those women who havd their organ of “life, birth, and pleasure”.
You can see Helen Prior in Adventures of an Old C**t on 7 August at the Camden Comedy Club and on 12-14 August at the Hen & Chickens. Tickets here.