Friday, 28 January 2011


 Muriel Lavender at The Bell, Buckland Dunham, FROME
Thursday 27 January 2011

If you noticed any of the ladies in your social circle have been giggling all day for no apparent reason, chances are they spent yesterday evening at The Bell, Buckland Dinham.  Crowds of sophisticated belles of all ages – and one very brave gentleman – packed the Barn to the rafters, to hear Muriel Lavender perform her very first one-woman show. 

Muriel’s high heels were staggering, even if she wasn’t: immaculately dressed in a leopard-trimmed wiggle dress (courtesy of Deadly Is The Female, where she is Poet-in-Residence), Muriel shared her first collection of poems from a matching leopard-bound volume.  She opened with an hilarious guide to avoiding the most determined of acquaintances, entitled ‘Let’s Not Do Lunch’.  The subject soon turned to Sex, and every lady was soon crying with laughter at the thought that even a Sex Goddess can have too much of a good thing. 
A tear in the eye turned to a lump in the throat, as Muriel shared a touching poem about the heartache of being a working mother as well as a Poetry Diva – but she quickly swept the audience into gales of laughter again with an outrageously saucy take on the Shipping Forecast.  The twin themes of Sex and Radio 4 continued to intertwine throughout the first half, until the audience were ready for a chance to catch their breath and check their mascara.

The second half featured a different Muriel – blonde and stripped to her undergarments.  All thoroughly tasteful, of course: a stunning blue corset, lace gloves and frilly bloomers (a rumour soon circulated that Miss Lavender sews her bloomers herself).  With the costume change came a different tone of poetry: letting loose her inner child, Muriel revealed that that inner child was quite the little madam!  You can find out why on The Muriel Channel – available on YouTube now. 
On a vocal journey of flawless accents which left the audience breathless once again, she took them from Yorkshire, in the form of a Monty Python Boyband sketch; through the Highlands of Scotland in a touching tribute to the One Brave Gentleman present; and in a stunning Cowgirl finale, way out to the Bayou with ‘A.D.V.I.C.E’.  If, indeed, Muriel had any advice to offer by that stage, it was lost in the roars of laughter from a crowd of very satisfied ladies.

If you haven’t heard Muriel yet, join her mailing list to find out where she’s appearing next.  Or, if you can’t wait to hear her again, BOOK HER to entertain your party – of ladies or gentlemen, for that matter: much as she enjoys poking gentle fun at the menfolk, Muriel’s style is to do so with love, not unkindness.  How refreshing.