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Critics & Audiences

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One of the reasons I do my shows at the Edinburgh Fringe is to get reviews.  I canot see my own work with an impartial eye and I know that people who come up to me to tell me how wonderful I am are not always people who have seen numbers of shows in my two genres.  They are not capable of making balanced judgements aout the quality of my work.  So it is that I take all my reviews very seriously. 

To my total amazement, ( in my experience) the reviewers take no notice of audience reaction.  In a drama, this is understandable because the text determines the quality but in a comedy show, the goal is to elicit laughter.  If the audience is lauaghing, isn't that a good thing?  I have observed that instead of acessing the reaction of the audience to jokes that are told, the reviewers seem to look at the person who is telling those jokes to decide if his or her subject matter is suitable for their image. 

I am 77 years old and I believe very close to the oldest comic on the fringe.  Of the four reviews I have received, all but one (the Scotsman: Kate Copstick) could not get past the fact that someone in my generation was using the very language that comedians use these days in their jokes.  I make several references to senior sex and to these reviewers they are just not comfortable remarks when a woman older than their own grannies.

What a loss for them.  We are all people after all living in today's world.  I am as aware of the lack of restrictions on language that has made comedic remarks seem more shocking and blue than was acceptable in the fifties and sixties.  It seems however, that although younger comedians can let the four letter words pepper their commentary, the elderly cannot.  The very punclines that make the joke funny are labeled smut when they come out of an elderly mouth.

This would be only mildly amusing if it were not for the fact that people MY AGE buy into the limitation and tell me that the dreams and goals they once had are  unsuitable and unattainable now that they are in their dotage.

I stand here living proof to all who care that this is not true. My age does not limit my comedic scope.  I can laugh and make fun of the very same things other comedians do because they are amusing to me.  I like to think I am paving the way of all who read this to be able to travel their own roads, no matter how illogical they may seem knowing that the one thing that really will NOT hold them back is their age. 


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