Peggy Shaw has always had a sassy attitude to peeling away the surface layers of her past, her present and any personal moments she reckons have something to add to the topics in hand.

She makes us chuckle, then teases those chuckles into guffaws as she draws us under the skin of her very being, until suddenly you realise that you're on the verge of unsuspected tears.

Her droll disclosures can do that, and can also humour you into a serious appraisal of political and social concerns – with gay rights at the heart of them – when any kind of tub-thumping address would alienate your interest.

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Witnessing Shaw's inner grit and principled beliefs has previously been tied into her highly-acclaimed performance practice as a radicalfeminist, living in America but touring globally. But in 2011, Shaw had a stroke and it is hard to believe that the twinkly, sexy woman, dressed in her habitual natty man's suit, with collar and tie and delivering sharp-shooting wisecracks is dealing with the muddling fall-out of that episode even as we watch. Because whatever else has been lost to her, a sweet sense of comic timing and a playful way with life's itchy little absurdities are – like her co-writer and director Lois Weaver – still close to hand.

Her waggish backing band may be on video, but you can tell they're the right kind of live-wires as Shaw croons and grooves, tweaking lyrics from Brel's Jacky and re-working If I Only Had A Brain into a personalised anthem that, like this whole richly unsentimental show, leave you in heartfelt thrall to her admissions of vulnerabilty, and glorious, uproarious denial of it.

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