Leicester Comedy Festival review: Carly Smallman at the Cookie


Review by Emily Pratchett

A night filled with laughter, alcohol and chatting absolute sh*** about your ex. That’s a evening with Carly Smallman. Her show Love Songs for D***heads, is deeply relatable, because at one time or another, we’ve all dated one.

Admittedly Smallman’s own story is different. Her ex dumped her three years into the relationship, after he came to the realisation that he was gay. On the bright side, she wrote a cracking song about it.

She’d only pulled a small crowd in Leicester, but Smallman has the natural gift of making people laugh. She keeps her stories light-hearted – nothing too depressing – and contemporary too. What is going on in the world right now? Lonely singletons attempting to find hook-ups on Tinder. Sad but true.

Smallman’s audience were not afraid to get involved which brought a conversational feel to the show. There was no lull between jokes or any awkwardness, even after the matter of d*** pics arose. A young woman sitting with her  boyfriend told how before she met her partner on Tinder, she’d received a bombardment of them. Online dating is an occasionally wonderful place, but mostly weird.

A connection between a comedian and their audience is not necessarily needed but in doing so it makes the performance that little bit more entertaining. Smallman greeted every individual that walked through the venue doors and then thanked them as they walked out, it was comforting to experience that encounter. By doing so, she was also pushing away any awkwardness after comments of sex, penises and vaginas have just been thrown around for an hour.

In a strange way Smallman embraces the iconic testament that it is better to laugh then cry. No relationship is easy, and in turn not all men are idiots but, in this day, and age, life is just that little bit harder. What are you going to do about it? Get on stage, become a comedian, joke about it and let people laugh with you. Nine times out of ten, the audience has gone through the same thing.

Smallman is brutally honest and unashamed, even when singing and talking about a hypothetical gallery whereby she pictures the penis of every man she has encountered.

Fiery, energetic and a must-see performer, Carly Smallman is an exceptional comedian.


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