Published: 30/12/2011 18:00 - Updated: 30/12/2011 18:00

Cruelty...of a kind

Jo Caulfield.
Jo Caulfield.

THERE was no mercy for those sitting in the front row at Jo Caulfield's comedy gig in the Universal Hall, Findhorn, last Saturday. The comedienne makes short work of probing her audience as a source for some hilarious banter.

Born in Wales to Irish parents, and raised in the Midlands, Jo cut her teeth as a comedienne while waitressing in London in her early twenties. After winning an open-mic comedy competition, she set up her own comedy club in a pub in Hampstead, north London, and spent five years learning to work a live audience. During this time she developed the hallmark fluency that she uses to ad lib through much of her set, blending her own material with anecdotal asides drawn from the room.

Since then, Jo has toured nationally and internationally, doing gigs in the US, across Europe and Asia, as well as several UK tours, including appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe and London's biggest comedy clubs.

She has worked for the BBC as a warm-up act for programmes such as 'Have I Got News For You', and as a comedy writer on many shows. She has received considerable critical acclaim, including being likened to her own inspiration, Joan Rivers.

Known for her acerbic humour, Jo Caulfield is democratic with her comedy, shining the light on her nearest and dearest as well as working the audience. In this show, 'Cruel to be Kind', she covered things that anger or annoy her, from irritating girlfriends to self-scan checkouts. She also collects pet peeves from her audience during the show to add more grist to the comedy mill.

With her wicked grin and a twinkle in the eye, Jo Caulfield makes an entertaining tour-guide around the absurd frustrations of modern society. After seeing this show, you may never view your world in quite the same way again.

- P.N.

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