Mean Things i did to my sister

Mon 4th – Wed 13th August 2014


Gender Trouble

at 13:37 on 10th Aug 2014



The title of' Mean Things I did to my Sister' entertained me more than the show did.

Amanda Kelleher's 'trip down memory lane' bore no real motif, theme or direction. Songs were loosely jangled together and it seemed that she could never quite find a persona that fitted well or consistently. One minute she was goofy, talking about how tall she was and how she always falls over (Miranda Hart much?). The next she became sassy, seducing and sex-craved, attempting to lure her young guitar accomplice with half-hearted fondling. It was this inconsistency that was at the root of the show's failure: it was both insincere and disorientating.

The quality of Kelleher's jokes was also usually quite poor: "You know when Armageddon comes guys it's gonna be over to the tall people to start a new race - erm sorry short people", as was the stuttering, unconfident way they were delivered: "clearly if you've got George Michael on the back of your ccape - erm - it's erm - clearly the best cape like ever right? and - erm - that's clearly a rhetorical question because - erm - clearly I love him".

That said, some jokes did genuinely succeed in making the audience laugh: "Control pants - my Fallopian tubes are gonna make a cry for freedom". Equally funny were some moments in her rapport with the guitarist Will: "He was the welsh dance champion in 2007. I mean look at his calves - you could break nuts on them".

Overall, the act would have benefited from a more focused theme/ central persona and more thorough rehearsing. However, if you're into seeing a Welsh woman prey on a hot guitarist then this is definitely the show for you.


Sarah Gilbert

at 16:28 on 10th Aug 2014



I really, really liked Amanda Kelleher’s outfit. She was dressed well, and looked fabulous. The venue, The Three Sisters, was as ever homely and quaint. There were a few other extra good aspects to this show too. The comedy, however, left a little to be desired.

‘Mean Things I did to My Sister’ presented the story of Kelleher’s life from childhood to the age of thirty five – what she deems ‘middle aged’ – with stories ranging in theme from Catholic school cliques, superhero pyjamas and being a too-tall-teenager, each illustrated by a complimentary song. Her singing was rough and a little off-tune, which would have been acceptable for a comedy show had her backing musicians not been of so significantly better a standard.

Part of me wants me to review the show favourably purely on the basis that I found myself relating to her jokes’ content, but this kind of show has been done better countless times before. As one of many examples, Kelleher seemed exaggeratedly proud to present what I think numbered as the fifth (yes, having counted) extended joke about ‘control pants’ that I have seen at the fringe this year, which in its delivery rapidly fell flaccid, hovering awkwardly between the two comedy poles of polish and raucousness. The show seemed conceived by an effort to emulate Caitlin Moran, but instead veered unconvincingly in the direction of Miranda Hart, only it was less funny, and had less of the physical comedy.

When this Miranda-esque mode was most embraced was when the show was at its best. Particularly entertaining was her serenading of her ‘toy-boy’ backing guitarist, and her brandishing of a cape (which looked more like a bib) adorned with the face of George Michael. Also amusing was her parody of Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’, drawing the set to its close. Though it did result in my leaving the venue with the song running on loop about my brain, remaining there for the following hour. Less than pleasing.

‘Mean Things I Said to My Sister’ is not the best of this type. But it is free, unlike many other acts of this sort. It isn’t a quiet show, and will certainly wake you up and get you going for the day, so if you’re at a loose end at around 10.45 am consider checking it out. But don’t go especially out of your way.


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