Pam Ann: Queen of the Sky
Leicester Square theatre, London
2nd October 2015
Pam Ann, the world’s favourite International Air Hostess, is back in the UK with a brand new show and this Queen Of The Sky takes no hostages.
Caroline Reid is clearly a fearless comic, tackling issues of culture, xenophobia and political correctness (of which she actively fights against) all as her alter ego, Pam Ann, a play on the defunct Pan American Airways which closed their gates in the early nineties. Hailing from Australia where she had her own TV show, she now flies around the world telling tales of her life in the skies exploring stereotypes from the glamour models of Virgin to the Chavs of EasyJet and all while sleeping around, doing drugs and dancing the nights through.
On entering the theatre it is quite clear that she has an enormous gay following which she regularly addresses. This may be more than partly due to her drag like persona. Not only does she dress in a heightened femininity but also takes on the grotesque, overtly sexualised personality we have grown to expect from drag artists world over.
What was refreshing is that it took almost 20 minutes for the scheduled show to begin as ‘Pam’ or more likely Caroline at that point was keen to chat about her love for London and her nostalgia for the old days of the city. She clearly loves working a room and has a real understanding of her audience, including the knowingness of critics in the room, “do reviews even matter anymore?”. Sometimes it is hard to know where the actress stops and the character starts and one might wonder how much of her party life is fictional, but she never loses control.
It is clear that Ms Ann has her hardcore fans and she often plays up for them, sometimes leaving the more part time audience a little behind but these moments are few and far between. The main element of her humour is the outrageous, commenting on missing Asian aeroplanes and ISIS as casual subject matter. The reason why she gets away with it is, like Matt Stone and Trey Parker (creators of South Park and The Book of Mormon) said, “if you mock everyone then nobody can get upset”.
This is not comedy for the light hearted but if you aren’t easily offended and like stand-up that pushes boundaries and does it with a large dose of camp and jokes about anal sex, (“I had an arsehole like a hippo’s yawn” being a personal favourite) then Pam Ann may be the show for you.
Pam Ann’s Tour Dates are here: http://pamann.com/tour/
© Harry Richards 2015