Although I had heard of Pam Ann, I had never heard any of her material, so I went to the Lowry Theatre for her Manchester leg of her ‘UK Layover tour’ with an open mind, it was within minutes of boarding flight PA#219 to Paradise that this show’s target audience became very clear and it wasn’t a heterosexual male in his late twenties.
Pam Ann is the comic creation of Austrailian, Caroline Reid and over the years has gained a mass cult following mainly from ‘Her Gays’ or from fellow Cabin Crew staff and believe me there wasn’t a shortage of any of them in the audience.
The vast majority of Pam Ann’s 2 hour set is based around her hatred and observations of other airlines, providing many heckles from the boisterous Lowry Audience many coming from Cabin Crew members of various airlines including Easy Jet, Quantas, Monarch, Fly be, and even the one that flies from a car park (that’s Thomson if you didn’t know.) the other half is her love of all things gay... kitsch songs, PVC clothing, disco balls and lip syncing but with that there comes a clear sense of knowledge of all things aviation which one would expect from such a specialised comic creation.
Pam Ann (Reid) provides a real warmth and connection with her audience and this is shown half way through her set with the use of audience participation with a dance/game for various cabin members, this brought some light relief from the nonstop barrage of sexual gags, and airline slaggery. After an hour though, this flight to paradise became very tired and old and it started to lose real altitude. It was only the introduction of various video clips including a very funny mash up of Terror at 41,000 feet and Lily from Singapore Airlines showing us around the new luxury plane that kept my interest.
You couldn’t take your grandmother to see this production that’s for sure but Pam Ann is a stand up comic that knows her demographic and isn’t ashamed of it, providing many methods of titillation including muscular half naked male dancers and flashes of Gay Porn. Pam Ann has an unrivalled ability to wear the 'bitchiest queen in town' tiara and through this she serves her market well. To quote a fellow audience member “It was good but not as funny as I thought it was going to be”