Jan Ravens, Edinburgh Festival review: Prime time for a woman of parts
There has never been a better time for impressionist Jan Ravens to make her Fringe debut.There are currently so many well-known female public figures the Dead Ringers star is spoilt for choice for her show, Difficult Woman.
The title comes from a remark Ken Clarke made about Theresa May and it is Raven’s take on the PM that is easily the stand-out take-off here, complete with the walk, the rigidity and the hesitant lips: "Her mouth wants to smile but the rest of her face won’t let her," suggests Ravens. Close your eyes and you could be listening to Newsnight.
Her frosty Queen Elizabeth/Anne Robinson mash-up is royally good too. As is her Sturgeon, Toksvig, Merkel and particularly her gloriously sleepy Diane Abbott. Onscreen mimics can use prosthetics, onstage Ravens becomes Joanna Lumley with merely a look, imagining the Ab Fab icon gushing while presenting travelogues in war zones.
This enjoyable show could be a television special if the script was tighter. Some lines fall flat and others, often about middle age, are cliched. Ravens' imitative skills are worth the ticket price though. They make her a woman it is not difficult to like.
Until August 27; edfringe.com