Lucy Porter

Norwich Arts Centre

Norwich Arts Centre

The deceptively wholesome-looking Lucy Porter brought Happiness to Norwich last night, this being the title of her first full UK tour.

She has an impressively wide-ranging CV, having written for the likes of Adam and Joe and appeared on BBC 2's Broken News.

With the theme clearly providing ample scope for such versatility, she cast a mischievously glinting eye over topics ranging from how to combat the ageing process ('I just paint my face like a Tiger and people think I'm six') to the incongruous cover stories of women's mags ('Knee-capped on my blind date!').

But just as the audience settles down for a night of engagingly winsome comedy, Porter will smuggle in material that belies the butter-wouldn't-melt exterior.

A prime example is when she contrasts the emotional arcs of hen nights ('happy, happy, happier, crying on the stairs) with their stag counterparts ('Happy, horny, fighty, dead').

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A Lucy Porter show may be likened then to sucking on a sherbet lemon only to discover that the sherbet is in fact strychnine: more bracing than expected, but enjoyably so.

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