Katherine Ryan

Katherine Ryan

If only every comedian was as acerbic, smart and downright funny as Katherine Ryan.

The Canadian comic had the first of two sell-out Norwich Playhouse audiences enthralled from start to end of a breathless, energetic and entertaining set that took in celebrity spats, the class system, terrorism and topless modelling without you ever noticing the join.

Many performers struggle to deliver a coherent set, ending up with either a battery of one liners or anecdotes joined by weak segues. Not Ryan. She has a chatty conversation style that reels you in, even if it is occasionally punctured by some riotously shouty swearing – but if you don’t get angry about Justin Bieber, you’re probably missing a pulse.

There is the celebrity froth she’s famous for (the perils of touring the same venues as Peter Andre and Twitter tussles with Tulisa fans) but there are also some surprisingly raw and personal moments. These could be uncomfortable, but it is a measure of Ryan’s skills as a performer that these feel naturally shared secrets.

Elsewhere Prince Phillip is cited as a reassuring still point of reliable casual racism in an ever changing world, and her home country’s uniquely innocent response to terrorism (threat level: beige) is celebrated too.

Ryan is a top notch performer: working her routine or off script, dealing with traditional topics or the taboo. Her show is called Glam Role Model – other comics should definitely be aspiring to her success.

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