Susie McCabe: Let's Get Physical (3 stars)

Susie McCabe: Let's Get Physical

credit: Marc Millar

A promising future beckons for this scathing and self-deprecating Glaswegian

After her pill popping-eschewing debut, The Drugs Don't Work, rising Glaswegian stand-up Susie McCabe has made further lifestyle changes, begrudgingly trying to get fit and eat right after a promise to her grandmother on her deathbed. Like her previous show, there's a sizeable tranche of nostalgic observational material, about the limited East End diet her parents raised her on. But McCabe's true strength is as a storyteller, finely building up the ludicrous details of the panic which the priest's arrival inflicts on the McCabes, and adroitly spinning a charity gig enquiry into the unlikely, behind-the-scenes debates of an Orange Lodge booking a Catholic lesbian comedian.

Another strong suit, as evidenced by the enthusiastic reception she received for two sold-out weekend performances of this show, is the way she works a crowd. Wearing her socialist principles on her sleeve, she derives plenty of mischief from anyone in the audience she perceives to have an exploitative, 'Tory' occupation. She charms the room with a mixture of extreme self-deprecation and bullish, brook-no-shit incredulity, railing against the health-conscious, hill-walking lesbian cliché she's being turned into against her will.

The real ghost in the machine of this show is not her grandmother but her fitter girlfriend, the friction of their contrasting nutrition and exercise regimes established from their third date. With a new baby niece putting even greater pressure on McCabe to boost her long-term survival chances, there's an endearing but never mawkish thread of familial affection running through Let's Get Physical. Although guilty of playing to the gallery occasionally and falling back on stereotypes, McCabe is quick-witted and her scathing ad-libs are devastating when required. Still developing as a comic even as her waistline shrinks, Susie McCabe's future certainly looks promising.

Susie McCabe: Let's Get Physical is at The Venue, Perth, Sat 13 May, and then touring; seen at The Stand, Glasgow.


1. Robbie 'Lobzstar' Hamilton6 Apr 2017, 2:03pm Report

I would have given this 5 stars, the laughs started around the room within seconds and continued throughout an extended performance - the audience lapped up every moment as Susie endeared every person in the room to her self deprecating humour. She is a woman you'd not only go and see perform, but would happily go out and have a bevvy with! I saw Susie's previous show at the Edinburgh Festival in 2016 and this is a great follow up show which continues to let the hearts and minds of the audience into Susie's, quite catastrophic at times, world. Highly recommended.

2. Kaz Wilson6 Apr 2017, 4:15pm Report

Having read the review I feel it entirely unjustified that it only received 3 stars. This certainly does not reflect the content of the narrative and is somewhat misleading prior to reading the article. I am also reading mediocre reviews by this critic, who has handed out a similar 3 stars to those - this makes no sense. Susie is an amazing home grown talent, an incredibly funny and likeable character and we have to promote her as much as possible. Credit where it's due please Jay Richardson!!

Post a comment

RSS feed of these comments