I do like a bit of stand up now and then, but I don't really dabble too much. Also I don't really watch normal TV much, so I often miss out on panel shows like Mock The Week. As such I had absolutely no idea who Sarah Millican was, but I pretty much assumed she'd be like most other female comics I've seen, just complaining about being fat and ugly and saying how men are all shit.
It didn't help when the first jokes of her set were indeed about how fat she is. But she kept going, and eventually I found myself laughing. It's not so much the subject matter she covers rather than the limits she stretches. Sarah says some pretty dirty things in this show, but you can pretty much just laugh and forgive her because she's a fun, bubbly lady.
While her scripted jokes aren't all wonderful, the essence of Chatterbox lies in the audience interaction. At several points during the show Sarah poses questions and waits for anyone to shout out the answers, and her reactions and comebacks are witty and hilarious at times. It shows her strength as a comic in suppressing hecklers and responding to unexpected suggestions, and while she often leads the topic back on track to insert another planned story, it's these moments of random pontification that really make Sarah shine.
I was pleasantly surprised with Chatterbox. While it's certainly not perfect, I found myself laughing an awful lot, and Sarah Millican certainly has a lot of talent she can employ while thinking on her feet.
My rating: 4/5