Suzi Ruffell at Soho Theatre
This Portsmouth native is keeping it classy
Credit: Aemen Sukkar
Her critically acclaimed show Keeping It Classy is hilarious, thought-provoking, and just a little bit daft, nabbing Ruffell the “working-class comedy crown” of the millennial troupe.
Lauded as "a real stand up gem" by the Guardian, Ruffell’s new show is a thrilling celebration of her working class roots, and this mighty fine story teller captivates her audience with tales of social ineptitude - and a lifelong enthusiasm for reptiles (oh, and she’s a lesbian too).
Seen on television more and more frequently (and heard on the radio and her podcast Like Minded Friends, which she co-hosts with comedy pal Tom Allen), both her physical comedy and the impressions she does of her family are perfect.
By the end of the show, we want nothing more than to hang out with her “geezer” dad and watch Blue Planet, while he tries his best to figure out which letters in the LGBT acronym we belong to.
It’s not just her dad – Ruffell draws all of the characters in her show so vividly you feel like you know them. From Black Sam, to her posh friend’s mum who can’t quite bring herself to say the word “lesbian”. Then there’s avocado-on-toast crunching, pale-rose-drinking Poppy, who will be instantly recognisable to the middle class millennials in the audience - both those who are “a little bit Poppy”, and those who know one.
As well as bouncing across the stage with the energy of a small child, Ruffell uses her platform to touch on the more serious stuff. Whether it’s deep diving into breakups and bereavement, talking about serious issues like immigration, or dealing with homophobic heckles, she does so with a smile, bringing levity to the lamentable.
The most poignant and moving part of the hour-long show is when she talks about being approached by a lecherous dude who’d been ogling her and a date while they were dancing in a club. She tells the audience how she “loses her shit” at this guy, who approaches the couple offering a threesome (sigh…).
It’s a story as old as time, and clearly resonates with many of the queer women in the audience. And as we see the self-identified gobby cow – “lairy Suze” – come out, the ensuing angered monologue strikes a chord is met with rapturous applause.
Then it’s straight back to the laughs. ‘Course.
So if you fancy an hour of little laughs, medium laughs, and full on belly laughs, get yourself to the Soho Theatre for Keeping It Classy and discover for yourself why, like many a Ruffell before her, Suzi is a proper legend.
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