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Thursday, 25 April 2013

Audrey Lamy "Dernières avant Vegas" - French comedy that works

It might be more than stating the obvious, but humour is a personal thing, isn't it?

You either find something funny or you don't.

That said though, when you live abroad and regardless of your language skills or knowledge of cultural references, it can be especially hard to grasp what those around you might find amusing.

For example, if you've ever flipped on the television remote control and watched one of the country's many, many stand-up acts, or have been invited along to the theatre to "enjoy a live show" you might well have found yourself wondering what the heck everyone in the audience was laughing about.

Sure there are some acts out there who raise more than a smile or two as soon as they leap on to the stage, but it's rare to find one as appealing and immediately engaging as actress and comedienne Audrey Lamy.

Audrey Lamy (screenshot from "Dernières avant Vegas" video)

She might not be at the top of her profession yet, but on recent evidence...Lamy's getting there.

Her face might be familiar to some of you. The 32-year-old is one of the stars of M6's runaway early evening comedy show "Scènes de ménages", which features short sketches from the daily lives of four couples.

Lamy appears as "Marion", a 30-something who lives with her other half Cédric (played by Loup-Denis Elion) in a studio apartment.

The short sketch format on TV seems to work well in France and of course helped launch the career of Lamy's older sister Alexandra when she appeared alongside her now-husband Jean Dujardin in France 2's "Un gars, une fille".

A talented family, obviously.

Back to Lamy - Audrey that is - though, who has just come to the end of a one-woman show she has taken around the country over the past three years with not just one, but three dates at the much-revered venue of Olympia in Paris.

As soon as she bounces on to the stage, it's difficult not to be won over.

Lamy engages immediately with the audience, has extraordinary energy which doesn't slow down over the course of one-and-a-half hours and the most infectious of laughs.

There are some magical moments, especially her love affair with a Brad Pitt bottomed frying pan - the sort of sketch that's short, silly and universal enough to appeal.

And there are clear signs that the woman is most definitely multi-talented as alongside the comedy, she also manages to belt out a tune and dance.

If there are any criticisms to be made it would be the need to tighten up some of the material and increase the range of characters she portrays.

Some of the sketches seem overlong with the punch line sometimes being repeated a little too often.

And while Lamy comes across as self deprecating, slightly cranky and a little too loud, it occasionally seems a little to familiar to "Marion" - the role she plays on television.

Lamy has depth and acting ability - evidence of that was on show in her roles in the hit movies "Tout ce qui brille" and "Polisse", films - it just doesn't always come across in her one-woman show.

OK so you've missed her tour in France, but hopefully Lamy will be back with some new material shortly.

And for those who fancy it, there's one date still left to play - in Barcelona on May 25.

In the meantime though, take a look at the accompanying videos for an idea of Lamy's humour.

In the first, she parodies Brad Pitt's dreadful Chanel No. 5 commercial.

The second is a supposed casting (in Franglais) in front of US director Quentin Tarantino - whose name she never quite manages to pronounce correctly - for the role eventually given to fellow French actress Mélanie Laurent in his film "Inglourious Basterds".

Finally there's the blue rabbit...well see for yourselves.

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