Janey Godley: Revelations of Godley
- Jay Richardson
- 27 March 2018
A night of 'Classic Godley' full of stories told with relish and abandon
It would be misleading to suggest that Janey Godley has newly embraced the Time's Up movement, because she's been asserting her right to be heard and take up space for decades. Rather, it feels like the world has finally caught up with the Glaswegian's no-nonsense, foot-forward unwillingness to suffer fools.
Even so, a bus journey to Edinburgh proved a telling social barometer for the comic, with a quartet of genteel elderly ladies joining her in dismissing the boorishness of a drunken bampot in the choicest language imaginable. Although it's a routine that largely relies on the force of Godley's four-letter recreation and stage presence, elsewhere she deftly reiterates her abilities as a more nuanced storyteller.
Her characterisation of an easily affronted Newton Mearns Tory immediately chimes with the crowd, evidence of her knack for nailing an archetype with expressive economy and a roll of her eyes. But the greater part of this show is given over to what can legitimately be described as 'Classic Godley' — polished tales plucked from a life less ordinary.
Underscored by criminality, abuse and mental health problems, there's abundant grit in the oyster here, even if it's leavened by show-business ridiculousness. Blagging her way into an intimate audience with Prince in Amsterdam, Godley's tongue-tied embarrassment is afforded a kicker when it emerges that even in these rarefied circles, her family's violent Shettleston past is never too far away.
Her marriage into a gangster clan is explored in rich detail for burgeoning laughs, and she carefully sets up her account of being an inadvertent gun smuggler for a devilish pay-off. Nevertheless, when the police arrive on the scene you're in little danger of forgetting the stakes or jeopardy. That's echoed by a recent development in one of the founding events in her life, a sobering reminder that the sins of a father can continue to impact down generations.
Seen at Òran Mór as part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival.