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Katherine Ryan - Nature's Candy (Tour - Salford)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Venue: The Lowry
Where: Salford

Canadian Katherine Ryan’s fast becoming a recognisable face on British TV, with appearances on Channel 4’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats, BBC Two’s, Mock The Week and Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

Ryan’s Nature’s Candy tour shows the audience even more of her capabilities, and gives a flavour of what is to come in the future. The title, refers to those things in life which make us bitter, but can also be hilarious.

From growing up in Canada, to being a single mom in Tottenham and from tall tales of the tooth fairy to a brilliant joke featuring The Golden Girls, Ryan’s material covers a lot of ground. However, that does mean it doesn’t always hang together as well as needed. A short section showcasing tweeted comments about Salford is well-intentioned for a big tour but unnecessary. Ryan’s opening section showcases her interest in celebrity culture – Kim Kardashian’s ears should be burning throughout the tour, and the opening sketch about Beyoncé’s Superbowl performance is terrific.

The evening suffers from having Ryan only do a 1 hour set after her support act, Jeff Leach, does 45 minutes. Leach doesn’t have the whole audience with him and his set is loose and unpolished, though he wins over a reasonable portion of the audience.

Although Ryan is clearly very funny, Nature’s Candy doesn’t feel like a fully-formed show, rather it feels like bits of a couple of different shows. It’s a very good idea on which to build a show, but large portions of the show seem not to relate to the theme. But with a full house in The Lowry’s 180-seat Studio theatre and another night to follow, there seems nothing in Ryan’s career ascent to be bitter about. Indeed, this tour is likely to be a stepping stone to bigger things for Katherine Ryan’s comedic talents.

- Laura Maley


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