Review: Pull Your Socks Up Britain!, Canal Cafe Theatre

 “Just leave it all to me. I’m going to sort EVERYTHING out. Sort out this nation like an unruly sock drawer at half-term…”  Lotta Quizeen is here to save the UK from national peril in this hilariously British one-woman comedy show.  While her husband Dickie is away, Lotta’s son Hugo has agreed to help his mother with her campaign to change the country’s devolution and its prostitution to UKIP, Russell Brand and worrying over lilliputian issues. Lotta reminds her audience of the good old British values that she believes will restore the country to the great place it used to be.

Upon entering the auditorium, each member of the audience is given a British flag to wave and a headscarf to put on at Lotta’s instruction. As the perfect hostess, she has set the tables with a variety of pic ‘n’ mix and greets everyone with a tray of cakes – the best type of audience interaction is having to decide whether you prefer chocolate or Battenberg.

Created and acted by Katie Richardson, Lotta Quizeen is a fascinating character who looks like she has stepped straight out of a 1960s housewife magazine. She believes in a sensible approach to everything, even  sensible dress from head, scarf to shoes and embodies the smile that covers up the typical British stiff upper lip impulses.

Lotta teaches her audience the right way to fold a fitted sheet, make your own Eton Mess and clean a set of golf- clubs in a demonstration filled to the brim in innuendo. Naturally, this is a lot work to do alone so she enlists the help from members of the audience to pull off her demonstrations. Needless to say that there is plenty of good laughs throughout the show.

Despite her old-fashioned views and impeccable domestic skills, Lotta is not your typical housewife as she says “Friends, voters and citizens of Britain, I, Lotta Quizeen, am here to bring sensible back. Today I am very proud to present the Pull Your Socks Up Britain campaign manifesto. Or Womanifesto I should say”. She simply plans to reclaim a sensible and simple Britain in order to fix the country’s problems.

There are some forms of comedy that only reach out to the British people and there are some topics that the British like to laugh at together. Lotta has embodied all of this into her completely flawless show. Sometimes there is nothing else to do but sit back and laugh and Lotta Quizeen is the textbook example of this. She knows her values, she knows her country and she most certainly knows her audience. It is the perfect British comedy.

Pull Your Socks Up Britain! played Canal Cafe Theatre until 7 August. For more information, see the Canal Cafe Theatre website. Photo by Amanda Went.  

Tal Fox

Tal Fox

An aspiring journalist and theatre aficionada. Currently studying MA journalism at City University London. If you want to put a smile on her face, put her in a theatre.