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Daddy dearest

WENDY SPERO: WHO’S YOUR DADDY? New Yorker profiles her life .0.

Wendy Spero may well have the biggest hands in Fringe history. Their size is such that she could grip a vast notebook and still have room to roll a joint. You know how, like. when someone goes on and on about being a pothead, it’s really, really dull? Spero tells us she's a pothead over and over again. It‘s dull. She recounts a story about being trapped in an enclosed space smoking with Hugh Grant. That's also tedious and unenlightening.

But back to her appendages. Alongside her expansive hands, Spero has limbs which she can‘t fail to use to her advantage. Whether she‘s curled up on her sofa (we could be a shrink listening to the whining confessions of a rich Manhattanite droning on about their woeful life) or imitating her mum tiptoeing around while her daughter delivers a pumping handjob, Spero is at her best when ‘doing‘ rather than reviewing her childhood like Elaine Stritch's favourite niece.

To break up the show, Spero flicks on a video and we see footage of a news report of her dotty grandfather, her dad (who died when she was a baby) being fatherly, her mother on stage reading out her girl's saucy lyrics and her grandmother collapsing in the synagogue. She glances back, perhaps to see if anyone has taken this opportunity to sneak out or, more likely, to drink in our unquestioning adoration.

You await with trepidation for a devastating finale. When the lights go up, an ‘is that it?‘ can be heard from a wag behind. For once, the customer may be right. (Brian Donaldson)