grace campbell review

Grace Campbell: A Show About More Me(n) review | Shtick becoming an ick

★★★☆☆ Grace Campbell has a shtick: lewd, sexually charged comedy about herself. It’s funny at first, but can't wears over a full 60 minutes.


Grace Campbell has a shtick: lewd, sexually charged comedy predominantly about herself. It’s very funny for the first half hour, but after a full 60 minutes, the self-absorbed sex stories grow tiresome, even if they’re meant to.

Grace Campbell is a comedian of the digital age. She repeatedly uses words like gaslight and says “LOL” aloud. She is shamelessly self-interested, sex-positive and simultaneously liberated and confined by something she might call “late-stage capitalism” (while sticking out her tongue and saying “oop” or “blugh”). She’s charismatic and completely at ease on stage, regaling crowds with her most embarrassing moments and making snide, sometimes wise, sometimes asinine social observations. She’s self-aware and pisses a lot of people off. She is, in my view, funny. 

But, over the course of an hour, her shtick becomes a wee bit of an “ick”. I actually think the word ick (popularised by Campbell Jnr. herself, and meaning: something someone does that is an instant turn-off for you, making you hate the idea of being with them romantically) is fairly applicable to seeing her latest show, A Show About More Me(n), live. 

You see, watching her potter around, make outlandish comments with the odd reference to her famous father and saying French phrases in a thick London accent becomes less amusing the longer it goes on. It actually removes some of the pleasure in seeing it all, which I suppose is, by its definition, an ick. 


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Campbell has spoken about inundating the world with the word ick. In an interview with Notion Magazine, she said: “I fear I’m getting the ick way too easily at the moment. I’m not really giving people enough of a chance and I fear I’ve participated in over-saturating the ick. I fear I’m part of the problem now because it happens too easily…But ick is just overused in my life now, like I say ick when I drop something on the floor. It’s lost its meaning.”

In a similar sense, Campbell’s comedy has lost its way. When she emerged at the Fringe in 2019, she did so with Why I’m Never Going Into Politics, detailing her upbringing as the daughter of Alistair Campbell. It was filled with all the right stuff – Tory bashing, Blair bashing, Campbell bashing, Brexit and Boris bashing – and it did very well; a nepo-baby not just pretending they weren’t a nepo-baby, but making their nepotism the crux of the joke.

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She then returned with A Show About Me(n), where her general promiscuity and need for male validation ramped up. It had a shock factor, exacerbated further by her famously stern father. Campbell Jnr. became, knowingly and deliberately, the comedian who both embodied sexually charged, body-loving female empowerment, while laughing along with her fellow “girlies” in a satirical bimbo-ness.

The issue is now, a year on, she’s added the word ‘more’ to the title, but admits that much of the material is the same. It would perhaps work better were Campbell scheduled at half eight or half nine, and the audience had a few more plastic cups of prosecco in them, but at 5:30 pm Campbell’s time slot is on the way up in an evening, and it’s hard to maintain the energy for an hour. Similarly, were the crowd a little rowdier, the audience interaction may be more fruitful. As it is, early on in the show, Campbell expects an audience to match her candour. If anyone can it’s commendable, but it’s easier said than done.

There are moments of genuine importance interspersed with the anecdotes of sex in night club toilets and her guzzling on the microphone, but they’re often lost by how quickly Campbell is again on her knees. It’s funny, at first, but it needs to evolve to maintain the quality over the course of an hour. 

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