This week, our seven remaining pun-slingers sauntered into a hospital in Watford, north London, to bond with the doctors, nurses and medical staff, before attempting to exercise their funny bones. Their pre-performance task was to collaborate on three competing “hospital radio” shows, which (as Tiff astutely pointed out) put them at risk of burning through their material before they’d even set foot on to stage! In retrospect, she really didn’t have anything to worry about though, because she managed to put a killer set together, and earn herself two separate applause breaks! Her full five minutes is up on the ITV site again, and it really is pretty inspired (they’ve kindly added an extra three minutes of blank screen on at the end of the clip, to give you time to recover). Despite being the clear “winner” this week, she wasn’t called in to see the judges… which was a bit of a shame because I was hoping to hear what guest judge Jo Brand thought about Tiff’s hilarious (and rather unconventional) use of the infamous “Bristol Stool Chart”. I thought that was something the Getting On writers had made up, but it really exists! Ellie, on the other… um… hand, had a bit of a… er… shocker this… um… week, as she stumbled and mumbled her way into the bottom three, coming very close to getting canned. If that wasn’t bad enough, both Brand and Copstick were criticising her for getting too gussied up, and once again suggesting that her looks were a distraction rather than an asset. Personally, I think Tiff’s much, much cuter, but I guess she’s less “threatening” to other women because she’s a little plumper (in the nicest possible way) and has a more matey approach? I don’t know… I’m just trying to understand the judges’ reasoning.
Still, while we’re on a Tiff-love tip, she’s currently appearing at a club called The Stand in Edinburgh, with her brand new solo show, Cavewoman. So far I’ve only been able to find a couple of reviews online, and they aren’t exactly raves, but the London Evening Standard had some pretty positive things to say: “She is blonde, perky-eyed and unpretentious… a classic upwardly mobile working-class Londoner… [who] extracts comedy gold onstage from cultural contrasts… [with] some strong physical humour and stand-out riffs.” Unfortunately the reviewer then goes on to rubbish her chances of winning SMTF, which seems a bit harsh since we’re only halfway through the contest so far, and she seems to be a pretty strong contender… although thankfully he does end his piece on a rather more optimistic note: “She is clearly a rising star. If she had material as strong as her personality she could be as unstoppable as the Caledonian rain.” Meanwhile, The Skinny‘s reviewer says “Stevenson is rapidly establishing herself as one of Britain’s most versatile comedians and the emotional core of this show suggests that she might be able to move on to greater things soon.” Hurrah!
Tiffany Stevenson: Cavewoman, The Stand, 4-28 Aug (not 15 & 25), 2.25 pm