JO CAULFIELD - "KILLING TIME" - ★★★★★ 4 & 1/2 Stars

JO CAULFIELD - "KILLING TIME" - ★★★★★ 4 & 1/2 Stars

I don’t go to see Jo Caulfield in order to be surprised. I’ve been a fan of her comedy for long enough to know what to expect – and I’m looking forward to another helping of her sly sarcasm. I’m not disappointed.

It’s Saturday night and the room is packed; Caulfield’s reputation means an audience is guaranteed, and she well deserves it. She makes it look effortless – her stage persona is all shrugs and don’t-give-a-fuck – but it would be a mistake to underestimate the skill that makes this show. She’s sharp, assessing her audience at the same time as engaging us, pushing boundaries with deceptive innocence.

In Killing Time Caulfield sticks to what she knows. ‘There won’t be a theme or a message to this show,’ she says, ‘If you want that, you’ll need to go elsewhere. This’ll just be me, talking about what I’ve done, what I’ve been thinking…’ And it is, kind of – but it’s so much more as well. It’s observational comedy, sure, but a clear illustration of why that genre persists: in the right hands – in her hands – it’s funny. She’s outraged, regularly, by other people’s behaviour, by their rudeness or their lack of awareness, by their sheer stupidity. She maintains a straight face throughout, a wide-eyed insouciance belying the audacity of some of what she says: she’s the queen of bitchy put-downs but she keeps us on her side. It’s an impressive tight-rope walk.

Okay, so there’s quite a lot of men-do-this-and-women-do-that stuff, but she makes it work – it doesn’t seem hack. The observations are fresh and precisely delivered, and the audience response is proof they hit their mark.

There’s a real joy to be had in watching someone so confident and assured. And Jo Caulfield can be relied upon to deliver a great show.

Bouquets & Brickbats

4th August 2018

 

JO CAULFIELD - "KILLING TIME" - ★★★★★ 5 Stars

JO CAULFIELD - "KILLING TIME" -★★★★★ 5 Stars

Jo Caulfield walks on to stage, sizes up the audience in moments, and proceeds to question, mock and taunt them.

The venue offers a welcoming bar at the side of the room, and is packed out even this early on in the run - early booking would definitely be prudent to make sure you catch this gem.

What's clear from the moment she walks on to stage is that she is a genius at her craft - the laughs come fast and repeatedly, and her dry, cutting wit effortlessly encompasses the audience's dress sense, places of origin, and assumed sexual proclivities into her material.

Jo admits early on that there's no 'theme' to the show - it's just what she's observed since last year in Edinburgh. But what she observes are fantastically insightful glimpses into human behaviour, and although there is a caustic, wicked sense of humour at work, constantly critical of both male and female stupidity, there is a genuine human warmth in her view of the world.

A highlight is her reworking of a porn script from a male-centric fantasy to a female story: it's pure comic gold. She also has a simple and invaluable tip for keeping your husband out of the house for a few hours. Her timing, observation and economy of language are all amazing: it always feels as if her mischievous thoughts are just popping into her head.

You come away thoroughly entertained, smiling and recalling superb put-downs and one-liners. This is surely the perfect Edinburgh Fringe comedy show.

EdinburghFestival.org

5th August 2018

 

Edinburgh Festival 2017: 4 Star Review (Daily Business Magazine)

JO CAULFIELD: "OLDER. WISER. SMARTER. MEANER."

A comedy stalwart of the Fringe, Caulfield has been treading the stand-up scene here since 2001 and kept coming back even after that first season when she saw a guy urinating on her pristine fringe poster.
Indeed she loves Edinburgh so much she moved here, firstly to twee Morningside and latterly Leith, and Edinburgh was her specialist subject on Celebrity Mastermind last December.
Her new show capitalises on her interaction with the audience and finding out where they are from and what their names are, how long the couples have been together – all the stuff that women love to know.

When two disparate groups admit they have come from Aberdeen quick as a flash she says: “I bet you all travelled in one car.”
Her routines about the differences between men and women are totally on the money, as are her observations about girls’ nights out and just generally about getting older and hating the party scene. She hates it so much that she patiently waits for a signal from her husband to leave, usually when he has insulted everyone in the room. Brilliant.
Caulfield admitted to a little nervousness in trying out this new show. That’s gutsy and shows the trooper in her.

There are great gags about people with allergies and intolerances, and those who need to go to anger management courses, those on diets, how she tried to change her husband so much she even tried to change his name to Julio as it goes better with Jo.
A routine about interviewing her husband on their first date is priceless as like many women she has planned out a whole scenario and has a check list – does he have a car, can he drive, does he own a good suit? Can he fill the position? Ha.
This show is more raw than last year’s – a few more expletives, a little bit more edgy, more daring, taking more chances with the crowd, and generally going with the flow.
Her gags this year also feature stellar improvs of conversations in bars, continental supermarkets – supermarche to you and me – and even exchanges in Tesco in Leith.
Totally unmissable show – again. Go Jo!

Reviewed by" Daily Business Magazine (5th August 2017)
 

Edinburgh Festival 2017: 5 Star Review (One4Review)

JO CAULFIELD: "OLDER. WISER. SMARTER. MEANER."

Jo Caulfield has been a mainstay of the comedy world for a while now and her shows are always amongst the first to be on the sell-out boards as it is a sure fire certainty that each one will be a delightfully written, somewhat ascorbic take on life through her eyes and delivered with style as only she can.


And of course the 2017 offering is up to the impeccable high standards she has set herself.
Starting off with local references and how to shop like locals abroad, she talks a lot about her friends; girly girls, some back on the dating scene, making changes in lifestyle, and what most women look for in a man, not immediately what I thought though. Names are also important to Ms Caulfield and a certain amount of audience research with her observations led to great hilarity. Subjects such as baby names, difficulty in double dating, and the differences in what the sexes care about are points along the way.


These stories flow seamlessly as like the maestro she is Jo conducts her performance throughout the all too short hour and I know I was not alone in wanting to hear much more. Still that’s for next year I suppose.

Reviewd by: One4Review (8th August 2017)

 

Pretending To Care: Unmissable (The Scotsman)

Unmissable comedy acts of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016

Jo Caulfield: Pretending to Care

Known for appearances on some of Britain’s best comedy shows such as Mock the Week and Michael McIntyre’s Roadshow, Jo Caulfield is at the height of her powers interacting with audiences and reflecting on her own life.

The Scotsman : 4th August 2016

 

Pretending To Care: 5 Star Review (Daily Business)

"Jo Caulfield remains a fearless tour de force" - Business Week

An alumnus of Mock the Week, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and the John Bishop Show, Jo Caulfield has cut her teeth with the current pack of comedy performers on the eclectic comedy scene.

As the Edinburgh Fringe heads towards its final furlong, Jo’s early evening show at the Stand is packing the house, but it might still be possible to procure a last minute ticket, as I did.

In a varied comedy career that saw her work with Graeme Norton, and host her own show on Radio 4 Jo is fearless with a feminist tour de force take on life, love and shopping and shagging!

She is not ashamed to admit that she hails from Melton Mowbray the place where pies are the primary export and that the town also boasts that it is the home of Pedigree Chum. So it is an obvious laughter link to say: “I’m slightly suspicious of the jelly around the pork pie.”

Currently a resident of the cool “Republic of Leith” Jo shamelessly scats on the concerns of sassy Lothian ladies of a certain age, ahem. Her comedy resonates with the avid audience, many of whom are local. It was great to swap notes on life and Leith living when we chatted after the show.

In the tradition of stand-up she interacts with the audience and especially the front row who get the “How long have you been married?” treatment. It transpires a long time for most of them – hence the front row rocking their “I can see in the dark and don’t need specs” attitude. I don’t believe this was a plant, as it seemed accidental when she asked an older gent “What is your name?” to which he responded Brian. She comes back with “You look more like a Findlay, proper old posh money in Perth.” The audience erupts to his respons: “My last name is Findlay.”

There is also a whole routine about the matronly ladies of Morningside who meet for eats and try to pay their bills with mothballed World War two ration vouchers. Again it’s a local gag but appreciated by an avid audience who totally get the aged aunties and ancient matriarchs gag.

When Jo ends up by accident in a “gentlemans’ club with a “platonic friend” and feels the need to show her seedy side by pole dancing, the trouble is she can’t stop talking as she describes her every move. This was laugh out loud as she gyrated and narrated.

In a short but sharp set she puts a new slant on the mother-in-law joke, formerly fodder for old-style male sexist stand ups. In the best comedic tradition she keeps the best gag until the end and leaves the audience gagging for more.

This is her piece de resistance – the mother-in-law who can’t let the apron strings go and constantly critiques the daughter-in-law about how her son likes his toast and how he likes his tea. How mother-in-law can do it all better. Daughter-in-law comes back in graphic detail with how her son likes his oats! Exit stage to tumultuous applause.

Loved it. More please.

Business Week : 22nd August 2016

 

Pretending To Care: 5 Star Review (EdinburghFestival.org)

"Jo's timing and delivery are slick and devastatingly effective" - EdinburghFestival.org

I’m not sure Jo cares about show reviews. And I’m not sure this reviewer cares that she cares.

But I have to report that her show is tight, funny, focused, and may occasionally make you snort, titter, wet yourself or cause you to cast your spit on the person in front of you. That is, if you’re anything like the person sat behind me. I can’t be 100% sure about them wetting themselves, but the rest was very real.

In short, and this review is short, Caulfield is a bloody hoot. She’s swearier, sharper, more caustic and better at her ad-libs than ever before, and her timing and delivery are slick and devastatingly effective.

She’ll make you laugh. Often at yourself. Her ‘Hollywood versus East Finchley’ RomCom is a highlight, her withering put-downs of her husband’s great ideas, which include suggestions for ransoming cats are brilliant, and her presence and brilliant characterisation all make this a very, very enjoyable hour.

At the end, she engages with her audience as they exit and pretends to care by rattling a bucket for charity. You can tell she actually does care, but like all of us, doesn’t care about stuff that really doesn’t matter. Unlike most of us, she can be honest about this, and make that superbly funny.

EdinburghFestival.org : 18th August 2016

 

Pretending To Care: 4 Star Review (One4Review)

"A commanding performance of class and style" - One4Review

Jo Caulfield can always be relied on to write and perform an hour of well though gags and stories, delivered in the trade mark style she has perfected over the year.

Ms Caulfield seems to have quite a lot that doesn’t totally please her during the past year, be it her ‘gaming’ brother, the house move with ensuing bank issues, a visit to a Lap dancing club, an night out with friends at an Edinburgh club or her much maligned husband, she has scope to grumble and makes full advantage of the opportunity.

There is no doubt that Jo can find laughs in whatever she talks about and the slightly ascorbic and dead pan delivery with the occasional foray using unbroadcastable language add to the commanding performance of class and style.

Her sold-out show audience is maybe a little more mature than some, perhaps it is the exposure she has from being on the telly and on Radio 4 but her appeal seems to be across the board.

This is a thoroughly professional performance and tickets are sure to be difficult to come by. Get there quick so you don’t miss out.

One4Review : 13th August 2016

 

Pretending To Care: 4 Star Review (BroadwayBaby)

"An excellent show, from a performer who’s clearly on the top of her game" - BroadwayBaby

It’s clearly an uncomfortable time of life for Jo Caulfield; a succession of musical heroes have died, she’s moved from middle-class Morningside to somewhat more “cosmopolitan” Leith – a process which forced her to make a host of decisions about a new kitchen – and a majority of the British population voted for Brexit. She doesn’t dwell on the last of these for too long – perhaps because the aftershock is still too raw, or she fears another complete change of Government between now and next week – but the cumulative result of all these factors is a stand-up comedian who is significantly more caustic and profane than you might expect from previous Fringe appearances.

Caulfield has clearly reached a stage of her life where she can no longer be bothered pretending to care about things she doesn’t actually care about; and it’s really, really funny. Much of the fire in this show’s belly comes from her increasing resentment of the ever-growing industry in pretending to give a cat’s arse – not least because, unlike most Americans who appear to have an innate talent for such things, us British are simply rubbish when it comes to giving a shit. Especially in M&S.

So Caulfield’s had it with the friend she helped through a messy divorce, only to see her apparently lose all her brain cells following some romantic love with a new man. She’s also frequently fed up with her husband, the near-constant butt of her routines, although it’s clear that she loves him, of course. Nevertheless, she has good reasons to ban him from watching Dragons’ Den; while he’s undoubtedly full of new business ideas, perhaps most are genuinely best kept that way – in his head, and just ideas.

Caulfield’s final routine highlights the numerous distinctions between real-live versus Hollywood Rom-Com. It certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome. This is an excellent show, from a performer who’s clearly on the top of her game.

BroadwayBaby : 12th August 2016

 

Pretending To Care: 4 Star Review (Fest Mag)

"Pretending To Care is a sharp, cohesive experience" - Fest Mag

Maybe it’s some curious side-effect of shelling out for an expensive new kitchen, but Jo Caulfield seems considerably more caustic this year. It could also be her recent move from middle-class Marchmont to the more, er, cosmopolitan, Leith. Plus a Brexit aftershock. The mildly furious comic gets that out of the way in a dismissive rant early on here, not wanting to “waste good jokes” on Cameron, Corbyn and co.

Either way, it’s a welcome surge along the profanity superhighway, and her faithful Radio 4-infused fanbase seem more than content with the added effing and jeffing. Although even the hardcore look slightly stunned when Caulfield suddenly launches into a bit of softcore: an elaborate and surprisingly professional lap-dancing routine. Well, it’s good to have something to fall back on.

The Midlands-raised, now Edinburgh-based comic is in fine form here, largely fuelled by a growing annoyance at fake niceness: that faux-friendliness that big corporations now force their employees to greet customers with. This is hardly hard-hitting social commentary but, offered some juicy subject matter, she rips it to shreds; the audience positively howls with laughter. Her poor husband gets it in the neck too, as ever, but all very affectionately.

Fest Mag - 6th August 2016

 

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