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
A Night Of Extreme Violins Andy Fawthrop Yes, I know it’s not in Devizes, but it’s pretty darned close. And it was definitely worth the trip out on a grim Tuesday night when nothing else was happening. Folk or football? Well, as Bill Shankly never actually said, this gig was far more important than mere … Continue reading “REVIEW – Gigspanner @ Pound Arts Centre, Corsham – Tuesday 29th November 2022”
Something I’m personally impartial about, though DOCA’s carnival consultation flagged it as a major issue for many, the recent date changes of carnival is set to be returned to the original date.….. Announced this evening, DOCA said, “based on what we’ve heard, we have made the decision to move the Carnival back to the traditional … Continue reading “Devizes Carnival Returning to Traditional Date”
Salisbury-based acoustic rock duo John Illingworth Smith and Jolyon Dixon play The High Post Golf Club, between Amesbury and Salisbury this Friday 2nd December, and celebrate that it’s their 100 gig. Although the duo had been collaborating musically for over three decades, gigs dried out proir to 2019, and they stopped, as Jolyon vaguely explained, … Continue reading “Illingworth Celebrate Their 100th Gig!”
No point in amending your bad behaviour now, far too late; you’ve got to have been good all year round to get on the good list. So, may as well carry on as usual, as this week sees us in the wintery but festive season. Are you ready, excited? Here’s our rundown of stuff to … Continue reading “Weekly Roundup of Events in Wiltshire: 30th November – 6th December 2022”
Another fantabulous evening at Devizes’ tropical holiday resort, The Muck and Dunder rum bar, where Bristol’s boom bap trio I’ve been hailing since day dot, The Scribes, came, saw, matchlessly interacted with the audience, and tore the place down with a riotous show of incredible skill and talent; secretly, it was foreseeable months ago…… Again, … Continue reading “Mighty Mighty; The Scribes Storm the Muck!”
By Lorraine Briggs The last time Otway played Trowbridge was in July 2003 at the Village Pump Festival, he returned last night to a gig to raise funds for the same festival in 2023; and what a show it was! Earlier this year Otway played his 5,000th gig at the Empire Shepherds Bush; and his … Continue reading “Dr John Otway Rocks Trowbridge’s Pump”
As sparkly as Elton John at his most sparkliest, Devizes Outdoor Celebratory Arts pulled the tinsel out of bag for the annual Winter Festival yesterday evening, leaving no niggles for a ‘review’ here, as such, just saying, and besides, if you live in or around Devizes, you were likely there anyway! Edited out of my … Continue reading “DOCA Step into Christmas!”
For the first time, Devizes will have its own life-size interactive Advent Calendar starting from the 1st of December. Devizes Adventure is a community event to bring our town together as we approach Christmas…. Each night throughout Advent, Devizes Adventure will be on the Little Green, where the calendar’s doors will open for one hour … Continue reading “Devizes First Ever Life-Size Advent Calender”
You’ve got to love social media for its provision into the ethics of those in positions of power. It’s beggar’s belief why no-one in the White House office monitered Trump’s flutters on Twitter, let alone attempted to stop him. Similarly, while this thread on the Facebook page of Wiltshire Police Crime Comissioner, Phillip Wilkinson, begun … Continue reading “Unemployment is a Choice, Says Wiltshire PCC Phillip Wilkinson”
Okay, so, everyone is doing a podcast these days, and I’m a sucker which finds it impossible to go against the grain. Here’s my pathetic attempt at comedy, interspliced with some great, mostly locally sourced tunes…… enjoy as best you can, there’s no guilt in not listening, because if you don’t, you’re the sensible one! … Continue reading “Devizine Podcast Pilot!”