★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Her joy is infectious, her stories are captivating and her material is slicker and funnier than ever before.
During this year's show, Dance Like Everyone's Watching, Suzi Ruffell recalls a moment five years ago where she wanted to give up comedy for good following a terrible run at the Fringe. Thank God (well, her mum) she didn't because Suzi has delivered two hours of outstanding stand-up with 2017's Keeping It Classy and 2018's Nocturnal but she has some bad news about this year's show - she's happy.
What's wrong with that? Well, it's often said by comedians, critics and audiences alike that you have to have gone through a terrible time to write comedy and for the last few years Suzi has proved that theory right. However this year she's proving that the opposite is also true.
Happiness can create great comedy. If you've got funny bones, which Suzi clearly has, and audiences love you, which in Suzi's case they clearly do, then funny material that's authentic will always resonate with an audience. I was reluctant to use the J-word, but I'm going to anyway, because Suzi has gone on a journey these last few years and what's been lovely is that it's all played out on stage for audiences to see.
As someone who admires Suzi Ruffell's skill and has followed her journey (as many others have, she's finally in a bigger room this year), it's a joy to see that she's finally happy - she's bought a flat with her girlfriend, they've got engaged and they're considering starting a family. But most importantly, she's bought a NutriBullet and joined a questionable WhatsApp group.
Suzi has a physical presence on stage that very few performers have, she might be a stand-up but rarely stands still - reminiscent of the wonderful Lee Evans. Her joy is infectious, her stories are captivating and her material is slicker and funnier than ever before. Audiences who do or don't belong to the LGBTQ+ community adore her and a story about a recent trip to New York for Pride might bring a tear to your eye, it did mine.
Six Fringe shows in Suzi is really nailing it and I never run out of positive things to say about her, but I do run out of stars because if I could, I'd give it six stars because it's better than her last show which I also awarded five stars.
Suzi Ruffell: Dance Like Everyone's Watching runs until 25th August (not 13th) at 8.30pm at the Pleasance Courtyard (Beside). Book tickets here.