The witty comedic routine of born and bred Londoner, Francesca Martinez, feels like a home away from home. She’s a bit like that funny mate we all have whipping out their embarrassing, love-related stories after one too many at the pub. Her repertoire spans from the serious isolation she felt as a teenager, to the stigma of good old-fashioned toilet humour.

Despite having shared the same stage as Frankie Boyle, Francesca doesn’t try to compete in the ‘I’m-more-controversial-than-you’ comic game of bravado. Thank god. Her self-deprecating, straight talking, tell-it-like-it-is style is a breath of fresh air on a circuit that is dominated by dad jokes. This sharp-tongued comedian certainly isn’t afraid to break the rules and get political. Whilst Francesca didn’t sport a #JezWeCan t-shirt that evening, she might as well have done. She loudly sung the Labour leader’s praises for campaigning to prevent disability benefit cuts. Who knew that a comedy show could inspire grassroots activism?

The charm of Francesca’s comedy is her likeability; she doesn’t shy away from her opinions, experiences or struggles. Even the toughest audience would be won over. The mark of a good comic is forgetting that you’re paying someone to entertain you, and it’s because you’re so caught up in having a good time. The combination of a room filled with laughter, genuine smiles and high spirits of total strangers; you can’t help but feel warm inside.

One thing is for sure, a comedy show which ends with an Irish man drinking Guinness while reading a sombre poem about the hardships of life, is anything but normal. Francesca is a comedian who feels more like your joker mate, than the typical career funny man whose arrogance is often worn as a badge of honour. If you’re looking for a show which leaves your face aching from laughing too much, ‘What The **** Is Normal?’ is exactly what you need.


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