★★★★ | Pam Ann Live From New York City

When I moved to London as a pink faced, wide eyed young lad from the midlands, live cabaret was quite an alien concept to me. In those heady days I’d bounce from bars, where bar boys would be doing camp Steps routines, to club nights where the likes of Mariah and Madonna would play, all whilst supping on a bottle of hooch.

Way back then, Pam Ann was one of the first cabaret acts that I ever saw and even though I’d never even set foot in an airport, let alone on an aeroplane, at that point in my life, I still howled at every bit of her sharp observational humour and the garish persona she had invented.

Thirteen years on and whilst so many things have come and gone, Caroline Reid, the woman behind the potty-mouthed trolley dolly, is not only still commanding packed out venues in London, she has seemingly charted a meteoric rise to fame worldwide. With a world tour in 2011, sell-out performances at the esteemed London Palladium and the Hammersmith Apollo, Pam has set her sights firmly on breaking America and she’s doing a damn good job of it. In her latest DVD, Pam Ann Live from New York, Pam plays to her ‘gays’ at ‘Joes Pub’: a celebrated showcase venue that has seen the likes of Kiki and Herb, Amy Winehouse and Alicia Keys grace it’s stage.

Pam’s knowledge of her subject really is astounding. If you’re going to do stand up focussing on such a niche topic then you have to be on the ball and the devil really is in the detail. Pam gives a master class in it. Rolling off gags about every possible airline you know, and some you have never even heard of; mocking certain mannerisms and nuances that she has picked up and exaggerated for comic effect, whilst also working the audience into as much of the show as she can. The content is fresh and appealing and is mixed well with tried and tested older material; with references to recent aviation developments such as British Airways’ recent initiative, ‘what would Kate do’ and Ryanair threatening to introduce porn to their flights (shudders).

If you’ve never seen Pam before then you’d best buckle up because she doesn’t mince her words and it’s certainly not a DVD for you if you’re at all twee about swearing and sexual suggestiveness. She does love to go on about her appreciation of big black cock A LOT.

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A highly entertaining show that will really put a smile on even the glummest of faces. Pam’s unique brand of stand up is as risible now as it ever was.

Available to buy / view on: Amazon