Joel Soetendorp

Edinburgh Fringe review: Lynn Ruth Miller, Granny Gone Wild

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Lynn Ruth Miller is a wonderful conundrum.   It might be said that she could only exist in Edinburgh except that she has won comedy awards at shows around the world.  She is doing two solo shows of singing, gag telling, shpieling,, stripping and flinging sanitary pads into the audience.

Lynn Ruth Miller is not the nom de plume of Lady Gaga nor even Courtney Love. She is however 80 years old, and the funny thing is that she didn’t start doing stand-up till she was a mere 71.  Which means unlike other more mature comedians, such as Joan Rivers, her style is surprisingly fresh and feels like she is part of a far younger generation. If not always an entirely comfortable part.

She has a projector playing jolly little videos during the show.  Her jokes are not at all long nor self-indulgent.  Rather they are zesty, quick one liners of enviable brevity that wouldn’t be out of touch for Jimmy Carr.  Though they do tend to drift towards the obvious and twinkly eyed charm doesn’t always make up for sometimes leaden punchlines and drifts in timing.

Her subjects may be incontinence, failing memory and elderly sexual partners with parts missing, but the approach is of a new blade sharpening her act  before cutting up an audience. This doesn’t always work and the sentiment can be a little jarring.

Interspersing the jokes are songs.   Whilst she might not be able to match Leonard Cohen, who is still  earning a coin at a similar age with his tunes, her ability to get the audience to join in more than compensates. Perhaps the songs are a little too sentimental and accompanying video a touch to self aggrandizing. Not even the biggest Edinburgh star would sing along to them dancing on screen.

She may not have filled her modest stage, but I’ve not heard as much clapping or warm, genuine laughter in many other shows.  Her script and microphone remained untouched throughout her set. About the only time her age did show was when she asked one of her doting audience members to help her get dressed after stripping as she was a bit cold.

Lynn Ruth Miller’s act is genuine and warm.  It may not be the most polished or high energy but it has more than plenty of charms to compensate.


Date of live review: 19 August 2014 @ C Nova

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