An Evening with Miriam Margolyes

Brighton Dome, November 25

IT’S NOT often two queens of comedy take to the stage in a two-woman show and somebody else steals the limelight.

But within minutes of Miriam Margolyes and her guest interviewer comedian Jo Brand starting the performance, the sign language interpreter was the star of the night.

Affectionately named “lovely Sue” by Miriam, the signer was forced to translate the filthy material for those hard of hearing.

And with Miriam Margolyes involved, there were some outrageous hand motions.

Beginning with tales of her youth, Miriam, who was promoting her new book This Much Is True, detailed stories of nude modelling as a young woman, her time at Cambridge University and her mother’s role in her upbringing.

All the while Jo Brand expertly interjected with effective punchlines, to the joy of the audience.

Miriam’s self-proclaimed obsession with the British class system led to numerous jibes at Boris Johnson.

The Boris-bashing continued throughout the show, with Stanley Johnson even getting a telling off.

“I’ve got not filter. I never mean to offend, unless it’s Boris of course,” Miriam said.

After the interval, the audience were encouraged to send in questions via a website, leading to anecdotes of Miriam’s documentarian work, acting and life as a lesbian.

One audience member even stood up to thank the 80-year-old for helping him come out to his family – a touching moment.

The actress, who appeared as Professor Pomona Sprout in the Harry Potter films, didn’t hold back with her opinion of the written version of the franchise, describing it as “pap”.

She encouraged all the parents in the audience to urge their children to read Charles Dickens instead of J K Rowling’s novels.

A question submitted by myself telling Miriam and Jo I was there to review the show got quite the response from the pair.

Jo’s response: “Give me one star, please.”

Miriam’s answer: “I want Christian Fuller to make up his own mind.”

And I have – entertaining, thought-provoking and a perfect balance of intellect and farting jokes.