Jo Neary

Joanna Neary’s Wife on Earth review

I’m in love! Joanna Neary’s Wife On Earth is just the best show I’ve seen for ages.

Comedian and illustrator Neary is already a Brighton favourite and in fact is based in sunny Eastbourne in Sussex too. This show was played to a full audience at The Rialto in Brighton.

Warmly received by us all with her particular brand of character comedy, she launched into some observational experiences about her journey to Brighton before recounting her idea for this show. This show is an interpretation of her hit comedy podcast called Wife On Earth.

Discussing how when she many years ago lived in the city, she used to get paid £10 to do radio inserts, including one impression of  actress Celia Johnson (she of 1940s film Brief Encounter). This in a roundabout way has become the vehicle for this very funny show.

Introducing her catometer (an antidote to the gameshow clapometer), this award-winning comedy actress introduced us to a bevy of fictional characters in a sarcastic show about marriage, music, and moaning.

The podcast which inspired this show (created for the Cosmic Shambles Network), creates a situation where Jo & friends leave their husbands to travel about and ask ‘What on earth is a wife? And why?’, all in aid of the new “lead-free lead church roof”.

Whilst not an official Radio 4 event, it certainly felt like we fell into a Radio 4 demographic, but this is no bad thing. It was like the 6.30pm comedy slot doubled in length, and I laughed uproariously throughout. She is a natural character actress and performer. Definitely in the same vein as Joyce Grenfell, and Victoria Wood, and so comfortable with this oeuvre.

Co-written with Joseph Nixon (‘The Shark Is Broken’ / ‘Underdogs’) and featuring music by Brighton’s own Glen Richardson, this is a skilfully created production whilst simultaneously seeming humble and low key, but it really was what the doctor ordered for the audience as we lapped it up.

For 2022, she’s also touring live comedy shows. These are ‘Lord God’, ‘Wife On Earth – The Tour’ and another written by and performed with Ben Moor called ‘BookTalkBookTalkBook’ and a children’s show called ‘Stinky McFish’.

The last performance of the show had me in absolute fits and I would happily see her again. Luckily you can as she has another show today at 5pm!

“Her interpretive dance may just be the funniest thing in Edinburgh” (The Times on her first Ed Fringe Award-nominated solo show ‘Joanna Neary is Not Feeling Herself’)

Rialto Theatre, 11 Dyke RdBN1 3FE
£5.25 – £9.00 – 15 May 2022 17:00 – 17:55

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