A television critic once said that the lunchtime television show Loose Women still looks like a pilot after all these years. Similarly, Looser Women, late night at the Gilded Balloon, still looks like a basic idea for a show.
Three Scottish comediennes (Karen Dunbar, Rachel Parris and Wendy Wason), one of them pregnant, one of them out-gay, one of them peaches and cream but potty-mouthed, read out their survey results of sex enquiries on unusual practices, pornography and house work.
Their material is drawn from the testimonies of real women by Tim Fountain and the weirdly named (in this context) Suzanne Portnoy. Tim’s always spurting out rude stuff, while Portnoy’s complaints often seem singularly aimed at an unsavoury, lager-loaded element in the fringe audience.
You can’t tell, either, whether the unfunny comediennes either practise what they preach – when talking about “spit or swallow,” for instance – or are just regurgitating Fountain and Portnoy and trying to look cool about it.
By using the chat show format and reading from cards, they stress an informal studio atmosphere they daren’t exploit by seriously engaging the audience.
And in extracting all shame and surprise, not to mention intimacy and tenderness, from sexual activity, they reduce their discussion to one of bland generality. They may as well be talking about tomatoes, and not even blush tomatoes.