There is no doubting London Hughes has the ability to command the stage. Her boundless energy driving her machine gun delivery is impossible to ignore. But her material whilst possibly suited to an intimate stage at the Edinburgh Fringe or a raucous hen party, is completely over the top for a global audience.
Hughes has an ambition to be the ‘Beyonce of comedy’. In an interview with Variety she said “I say “Comedy Beyoncé” because I believe that Beyoncé is the greatest living performer and I love to perform. I think my stand-up style is unique — I don’t think many people have a stand-up performance level like mine and I just want to get better and better. I want to do world tours in stand up but, like Beyoncé, I do many things. The sky’s the limit. London Hughes is going to be global from now on.”
Her stand up style is indeed unique but to achieve her ambition she has to tone it down somewhat. A potty mouth routine has become acceptable but Hughes has taken it to a level that will get her noticed but not acclaimed on her coveted global stage. The envelope of entertainment has been torn asunder since Kenneth Tynan first hit the headlines for using the F word on TV. The word is part of everyday language and when used for comedic effect can be very funny but it does need to be encased in a little dialogue or it loses its impact.
One of the influences in London Hughes formative years was Richard Pryor whose career had two distinct strands: the controversial stand-up comedian and the mainstream comic actor. To achieve her ambition Hughes will undoubtedly have to follow suit.
Hughes insists that her routine is based in truth. But as with life in general it’s often better to keep some things to yourself, unless you are seeking absolution.
Love her or loathe her, one thing’s for sure, you won’t ignore her.