Scum In The Corn Exchange
Well we’ve had plenty of music, chats and walks so far in the Devizes Arts Festival, so it was about time that a comedy monster raised its ugly head in our lovely town. And, as they say, if you’re going to do comedy, best get out there and do it big. And it doesn’t come much bigger, better and more well-known than the Scummy Mummies…..
For those who don’t know – Ellie Gibson and Helen Thorn originally joined forces to become The Scummy Mummies back in 2013. Since then they have gone on to produce an award-winning podcast, a popular book, and their own range of merchandise. They have an ever-growing social media presence, with more than 160,000 followers on Instagram. There are now over 200 episodes of The Scummy Mummies Podcast, and they have been downloaded more than 5 million times in 150 countries. The show has featured in “Best Podcast” lists in The Guardian, the Sunday Times, and The Telegraph.
So taking the next logical step to create The Scummy Mummies as a live comedy show, packed with sketches, songs, and top quality boob jokes, came almost as an inevitability. In 2019 they made their Edinburgh Festival debut, selling out the entire 25-night run and earning a five-star review.
And last night, the show rolled into D-Town and, not to be outdone by some mere provincial town in Scotland, was a sell-out. 400 or so folks packed into the Corn Exchange. I’m guessing that there were a lot of dads across town looking after their children, cowering in the darkness, and wondering about how exactly to load the dish-washer, since about 95% of the audience were of the female persuasion. This was like the biggest prosecco-fuelled hen-party on earth. The air was thick with the aroma from competing waves of oestrogen and HRT patches, and it was almost over-whelming to we few cowering, intimidated males who had dared to put in an appearance. Make no mistake – this was a BIG girls’ night out, the WAGs moving en masse, and woe betide anyone who got in their way.
And of course, it was everything the crowd had been expecting – potty-mouthed sketches, observations and songs on all the obvious themes and targets – the failings of men, sex, childbirth, domesticity, parenthood, body issues, you name it. Every target was greeted with loud hoots and cheers of recognition and sisterhood solidarity. Subtle and sophisticated it was not – but it was absolutely, side-splittingly, laugh-out-loud, bloody hilarious. Ellie and Helen were absolutely superb at picking their targets and (male) victims from the audience, riffing and improvising on familiar themes of failed expectations, can’t-be-arsed attitudes, and rapidly-waning interests in other things in life than wine and sex. I almost felt sorry for poor Phil and Dave sitting up at the front. But not very sorry, to be honest. It was excruciating at times, yet never nasty or vicious, just deeply funny.
Musical mash-ups featuring ABBA, Cher, Love Island, RuPaul, and the Nineties were great set pieces, together with sketches about baby-books, hair waxing, the horny-versus-hungry dilemma, and the “beauty” industry. But the best bits in my view were the observational stand-up sessions, and the games (“I have never…” and the “confession” cards), which were generated by the D-Town audience itself, and led to the best impromptu comedy from both women. And finally the “scum-ometer” revealed the “scummiest mummy in Devizes”, and then we were done. Huge, huge cheers and applause was the justified response.
I think (I hope) it’s probably safe for the chaps to come out now, but be afraid – very afraid!
What an absolutely fabulous night out – great entertainment, and two hours of belly-laughs. Well done DAF for throwing this absolute gem into the mix.
The Devizes Arts Festival continues every day until 25th June at various venues across town. Tickets can be booked at Devizes Books or online at www.devizesartsfestival.org.uk
Jeepers. No one works that hard on a Sunday, surely? Even if your boss shoves a Sunday shift unwillingly on you, you brush as much as you can under the carpet; anything which can wait until Monday, should do. I’ve mentioned it in passing, but not given Jon Amor’s monthly residency at the Southgate full … Continue reading “Jon Amor, Friends, and the Southgate”
Once a cover band, east Wiltshire’s rootsy four-piece Hooch have moved to writing and recording original material. Their discography goes onto music streaming sites today (Sunday 3rd July,) and if you like your country-rock breezy and uplifting, with a subtle touch of psychedelia and surf, then it’s worthy of your attention….. The instrumental Eagle Ray … Continue reading “Hooch on Streaming”
Full Tone Festival August Bank Holiday then, penny for your thoughts on that one…… Five irritating wannabes handpicked for their conflicting personalities vote on each other’s dinner parties while a poor man’s Harry Hill narrator insults them in a heavily edited sham of a television show. Yet, despite this perpetual cycle of formulated garbage, Come … Continue reading “Full-Tone Stands Alone”
A Great Festival – Now What About The Future? Andy Fawthrop Well, the 2022 Devizes Arts Festival has now drawn to its successful close. Thanks to a very determined and hard-working committee, this jewel in the D-Town crown was finally shining again. Along with DOCA-led events like the International Street Festival, Carnival, Colour Rush, Lantern … Continue reading “REVIEW – Devizes Arts Festival 2022”
Salisbury may be a grey area for us, we don’t get to hear a great deal about the music scene there. I guess they have their own media, magazines and blogs covering it, but it is something I realise I must work on. For all I know, Timid Deer could be huge there, but they … Continue reading “Timid Deer; back with more Melodies for the Nocturnal”
Full throttle into July, then; here’s what the weekend looks like around these parts. These parts of cultural void, so it’s claimed, we say otherwise…. You want proof? As usual no links here, the only link you need is here, our event calendar. Have a great weekend whatever you do! Ongoing from Wednesday until Sunday … Continue reading “Weekend Roundup: 30th June – 3rd July 2022”
300 and still counting! Andy Fawthrop Is it really (not that) long? Debs suddenly realised over the weekend that this was the 300th gig that she and Dave had put on in The Southgate since taking over in 2018. That’s only four years, and we had a pandemic in the middle when all the pubs … Continue reading “REVIEW – Tamsin Quin & Vince Bell @ The Southgate, Devizes – Sunday 26th June 2022”
Four Seasons In One Day Andy Fawthrop There’s no respite if you’re into your culture in D-Town these days. Fresh off the back of the wonderful Devizes Arts Festival, I headed on a beautiful sunny Sunday evening to a sold-out Town Hall to hear The Fulltone Orchestra in full musical flight. This was FTO’s “taster” … Continue reading “REVIEW – Fulltone Strings @ Town Hall, Devizes – Sunday 26th June 2022”
Ah yeah, Paul McCartney whisked Bruce Springsteen and Dave Grohl out of his hat at Glasto, and no one can top that, no one dare try, but on the other side of the west country The Fab Four were rejuvenated on stage, and miraculously commanded the weather! Okay, allow some exaggeration for artistic licence, but … Continue reading “Miracle at MantonFest!”
Another Great Find Andy Fawthrop Ah – you never know what life is going to throw up at you till it smacks you right in the face. Coming off the back of two weeks’ worth of fare from Devizes Arts Festival, I poked my head in to The Corn Exchange to catch their very last … Continue reading “REVIEW – Sarah C Ryan Band @ The Southgate, Devizes – Saturday 25th June 2022”