Thursday, September 10, 2015


Broadway Baby review of Awkward Conversations...

* * * *

Jo Caulfield is sardonic, cutting and fantastically witty. Her Awkward Conversations are, as advertised, very awkward. But then, that’s what makes them so brilliantly funny.

Caulfield begins her show by getting to know her audience, creating a rapport which is beautifully maintained throughout her performance. She launches into her material with descriptions of life living in Edinburgh, or more specifically, Leith. These descriptions paint the backdrop for the awkward conversations she is to go on to describe. Her take on life in Leith is wonderfully hilarious, especially if you are local to the area and have made visits to the locations she discusses.

Caulfield has had a lot of awkward conversations this past year alone, she recalls each of them in turn, knitting them together so wonderfully that the material flows seamlessly throughout the show. Each of her conversations is deliciously dissected, and they are, for the most part, so relatable that you cannot help but cringe and laugh. Caulfield’s manner is relaxed and confident, but she is willing to show moments of vulnerability during some of her tales, which greatly enhances her performance.

Her stories about her friends recent divorce, and her own marriage are vividly described, accentuating the humour perfectly. One particular tale of her marital life is described in such detail that you could imagine yourself in the room as the excruciatingly cringeworthy exchange took place. The phone conversations she describes as having had with her mother are an especial delight, that many could relate to. Caulfield is a very intelligent comedian, her punchlines are often unexpected, catching you entirely off guard as she takes her jokes in directions you couldn’t have possibly have foreseen. She is a fantastic wordsmith.

Those who are easily offend may not enjoy Caulfield’s brand of comedy, as some of her jokes are quite provocative. For everyone else however, Jo is well worth seeing this Fringe.
(Broadway Baby) August 2015

Tuesday, September 01, 2015


The Herald review of Awkward Conversations...

* * * * *
Jo Caulfield is everything the Comedy Fringe is about. Friendly, naughty and deliciously self-deprecating. 

The front row were virtually pleading to be picked on and she didn't disappoint. The bald man with the shiny dome, the group of ladies with the good hair and Monica from Mexico all got some stick. Her best put downs however, were reserved for a family of slightly bemused Americans. 

This woman doesn't just engage with her audience, she goes for a full-blown civil partnership. The section on her best friend's dating options fell a little short of the mark but, sensing this, she soon abandoned it and moved on. Jo's potty mouth wouldn't win many plaudits on her regular Radio 4 slots, but this mainly couples crowd loved it. They loved it too when she discussed the trials and tribulations of her own marriage. Everything from almost splitting up to the perils of role play. All told with brilliant deadpan delivery and exquisite timing. 

An Edinburgh resident , her take on the attempted gentrification of Leith is spot on. Coffee from the Guatemalan jungle or some craft beer with a stupid name, anyone? She might be one of the UK 's top TV comedy writers, but on this superb showing, stand-up is undoubtedly her artisanal bread and butter.
(Herald Scotland) August 2015


One4Review review of Awkward Conversations...

* * * * *
I have always found Ms Caulfield to be a classy comedian who always has an excellently written and funny show, delivered in a style that only she can. And this year’s offering fits the bill exactly.

Oozing presence she sweeps to the stage gathering up one and all with her and taking them along with her throughout the whole hour. Her style of delivery is as if chatting, or maybe even gossiping, with friends over a glass of wine, even asking for audience advice on a couple of matters along the way.

Some of the topics that are visited are the division friends following a divorce, dating, touring and being away as a busy comic, her mother, waxing and as usual a great source of the inspiration of material, her husband and their relationship.
The whole experience passes by so quickly I couldn’t believe that she had been talking for an hour, it was certainly one of the quickest this Fringe, but there is always next year’s too look forward to.

As the sold-out signs are in evidence regularly get yours soon or risk having the awkward conversation that you can’t go.
(One4Review) August 2015


Fife Today review of Awkward Conversations...

* * * * *
There’s nothing awkward about any of the conversations with Jo Caulfield - simply top notch comedy and gags galore in a perfectly honed hour of comedy.

The Stand is also the very best place to see live stand-up, and it was packed to the point of standing room only for this gig - a nightly occurrence for Caulfield in what is pretty much her second home.

Get in early to grab a seat, and if you opt for the front row be prepared to be part of one of her conversations at any point during the hour.

The title of Caulfield’s 2015 show is based on assorted chats with friends, family and her husband - the source of some great material - all pieced together with effortless ease.

She really makes this comedy malarkey look easy even if it is one of the hardest things to do to stand on stage with nothing more than a mic and your own wits to entertain a full house without so much as a pause let alone allowing the pace or energy to drop at all.

The gags are delivery with great timing, and the hour flies past by.

You simply won’t see a better stand-up show at this year’s Fringe.
(Fife Today) August 2015

5 STAR REVIEW: "AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS" by review of Awkward Conversations...

* * * * *
Well this is awkward… Jo Caulfield picked me out of the audience and lampooned my lovable, hangdog Humphrey Bogart / Droopy good looks. And then got other people to pick on me. And only later as I left did I whisper that I was reviewing her show.

But then, that’s what happens when you sit at a table at the front in a comedy show.
Caulfield’s show works around the awkward conversations that life throws at us – relationships, family, work, getting older, getting divorced, getting laid. And she is mouthy, sweary and deadly funny in her one-liners and put-downs.
On parents: “I now don’t think of them so much as parents, more like harmless mental patients”.
On husbands: “Just you go and make a cup of tea for me, bitch!”

There is a bitchy, yet easy conversational style to Jo’s humour that make her “I know I’m terrible for thinking or saying this, but…” type of revelations mocking and friendly, rather than the rather stark and shockingly honest statements which they often actually are.
Because she is so smart, chatty and good-natured, it doesn’t come across as bitchy, even when it certainly is. She has a natural skill to draw in the audience, even in one of the most awkwardly-shaped venues to play in Edinburgh, with an audience spread from being inches away to being 30 feet distant and across all three sides of the room.

Her banter with the audience is natural and easy, and she takes mischievous delight in poking fun at individual and groups in the room, and quite hilariously misidentifies a father and daughter as a couple. I think it’s called establishing rapport, but that makes it sound tricky. It seems effortless. Whether she’s ad-libbing with the audience or bringing in her scripted material on ‘awkwardness’, the laughs come regularly and easily, and she has a deft, masterful control over the audience that she wields seemingly without trying. She’s just having a little old chat with us, and is gossiping and poking fun about those awkward situations.

Her descriptions of the foibles and daft remarks of her husband, friends and relatives are told with casual yet stark clarity, and she draws us in beguilingly with the simplicity of the telling. All the time she’s mocking them, and almost inevitably elevating her own status and superiority, but she does all so very slickly and smilingly that you’re always eager to hear yet more terrible things from her.

Jo Caulfield’s comedy is fast-paced, very funny and very enjoyable, Caulfield has a caustic and acid tongue that is never really used cruelly, but it is devastating. And yet, at the same time, even when you’re the victim of her put-downs, you’re laughing with her, because she’s so observant, her comic timing is immaculate and very simply, she is so bloody funny.

I come to listen to comedy to laugh. Come to this show, and you will. It’s that simple. (EdinburghFestival.og) August 2015