How was your April 2017? Suzi Ruffell’s was appalling and she’s here to tell you about what she’s learned, about herself and about the society in which we live in, since her tragic month. Though April included the death of two close family members, a break up and an unfortunate car accident with a deer, it is hard to imagine Ruffell as anything other than what she presents on stage, which is a person who not only accepts but revels in themselves. She is dynamic, rarely staying still other than when she excellently evokes characters such as creepy men, the bigots of her community and the mum of her posh best friend. Her energy is contagious, her facial expressions rivalling peak Maria Bamford.
Resembling the long lost triplet of Tegan and Sara, there are elements of Tig Notaro’s affirming routine Live but Ruffell is very much her own person. Calling on unhelpful – and unsolicited – advice for making life better, she plainly sets out the drastic lack of understanding between the working and middle-to-upper classes. Ruffell puts forward compelling comic scenarios to put forward her position that social mobility is an illusion and suggesting a positive mental attitude in the face of widespread poverty is nothing less than an insult.
Thrillingly, given the overall demographic of the Fringe, Ruffell takes the middle class left to task for taking the easy way out and landing recent election and referendum results on the amorphous group of “the racist white working class”, whilst retaining the awareness to note that some stereotypes are true, particularly in the form of local pub stalwart Bob. Her keen observations on her family’s acceptance of her sexuality make for touching moments, whilst her distinction about being hateful and being un-PC are signs of a confident, unique comedic voice that is one to avidly follow.
Suzi Ruffell’s Keeping It Classy runs until 27th August at the Pleasance Courtyard, 21:45.