Lou Conran's worried that her show last year—which recounted the death of her daughter—means she'll forever be known as "the dead baby woman". She resolves to do a show without tragedy at its core. But in the twelve months since then her necessary reflection on life has meant that she's once again put together a show with hardship at its core. Here, though, there is an upbeat message about seizing the moment and cherishing positives, which captures the epiphanic moments she's experienced. And all of this is a consequence of reading about a man mocked as "Dog Poo Darren".
Conran's commitment to the material, and the message she espouses, is evident, and it's heartening to encounter a performer devoted to the healing power of comedy. The gags are well constructed, and her cheeky demeanour means she can get away with exploring remarkably filthy matters. There's no doubting her ability to work a room, especially given the diverse crowd making up the audience.
In the end, though, the material's not strong enough to carry the weight of the message it's intended to deliver. Dog Poo Darren is a totemic figure in the narrative, but he remains at a distance, and it's never fully clear why he in particular has such a transformative effect upon Conran. The revelatory moments lack the necessary jolt, so instead we're left with an appealing but under-explored message of hope and renewal.