Romantic

WRITER | ILLUSTRATOR | EATER 

             FEMINISM AT THE FRINGE: FUNNIEST FEMALE STAND-UPS     

 

'I don’t really feel it’s about me, it’s about women – it’s about changing. You had better watch out, we’re taking over!’ 

Bridget Christie, female comedian


Edinburgh is alive with fringe fever and it’s contagious. With over 3100 shows offering a diverse range of performances at what is the biggest Fringe Festival yet, Scotland’s capital of culture is brimming with colour, creativity and laughter. From politically charged drama to laugh-a-minute comedy, awe-inspiring dance to literary treats at the International Book Festival – you won’t ever find yourself bored. But it’s the female comedy circuit that has seen the biggest, and arguably most exciting, growth this year – with a 62% surge in the number of female performers. Perhaps this is in part down to female comedian, Bridget Christie, winning the Fringe Comedy Awards last year with her controversial and hard-hittingly hilarious A Bic for Her. Christie was the third woman in the 33-year-old history of the awards to have won, and hopefully not the last. This year she’s back with her new, even funnier and just as unapologetically feminist show, An Ungrateful Woman, which has received raving reviews and has already sold out.


With more women breaking into the male-dominated world of comedy, not only does The Fringe offer a fantastic platform for female comedians to flaunt their comedic prowess, but they are also increasingly using their funniness as a powerful tool to explore important issues of the day – be it rape-joke culture, female body image or everyday sexism. But this is just the beginning: female comedians still only account for less than a fifth of all comedy shows at the Fringe, and it’s surely not simply because men are five times as funny. So, if you are lucky enough to be in Edinburgh right now, make sure to go along and support this encouraging display of feisty female funniness. And so you can do exactly that, we’ve cherry-picked the very best female comedians that this year’s fringe has to offer.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      


ADRIENNE TRUSCOTT
Adrienne Truscott’s Asking for It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy and Little Else!
Where Heroes @ Bob & Miss Behave’s Bookshop (Venue 212)
When 11pm, Aug 13-16
Why In this award-winning show, Truscott is back to judiciously undermine and unapologetically ridicule the rape-joke culture that has found its way not only into the male comedy circuit but also mainstream public discourse. She proves, whilst naked from the waist down I might had, just how hilariously unfunny and damaging this ‘asking for it’ mentality actually is. She succeeds in intelligently tackling a taboo subject of great weight in a way that will leave the audience shocked, moved and chuckling hysterically.


KATE SMURTHWAITE
The News at Kate: Leftie Cock Womble
Where Viva Mexico (Venue 274)
When 5pm, Aug 11, 13-23
Why A feminist, an atheist and a leftie: Kate Smurthwaite is just the sort of person I’d like to sit next to at a dinner party. And not only is she a political activist, she’s also really funny too – a powerful combination. The very fact she has claimed #LeftieCockWomble as the title of her new show – the hashtag that was used against her after she appeared on Question Time in January – sets the scene for this hour of well-informed and mirthful stand-up.


ROSIE WILBY
Rosie Wilby: Nineties Woman
Where Voodoo Rooms (Venue 68)
When 12:05pm, Aug 12-24
Why By looking through the lens of her own experience, most specifically her time writing for the student feminist magazine Matrix at York University in the nineties, Wilby is able to engage with a history of feminism over the past 20 years and how much, or rather how little, things have changed. This is done in a way that is engaging and provocative, with video interviews and archive photos bringing her sometimes self-depreciating, and often hilarious, tales as a lesbian feminism in the 1990s to life.


CARLY SMALLMAN
Carly Smallman: Made in Penge
Where Laughing Horse @ The Counting House (Venue 170)
When 5:30pm Aug 12-17, 19-24
Why In defiance of those who called her a ‘fat whale’ and ‘Miss Piggy’, Carly Smallman is back to offer a witty fingers-up to the cyber bullies who launched a vicious viral campaign of abuse after she appeared on the ITV2 series, Viral Tap. Although Smallman was deeply disturbed and hurt by the, at times threatening, influx of hatred directed at her for merely being a female comedian who was size 16-18, she is determined to not let them win. This show tackles the ever-increasing issue of online abuse, female body image and the struggle for gender equality – in a way that is funny, intelligent and spot-on.


SARA PASCOE
Sara Vs History
Where Assembly George Square Studios (Venue 17)
When 8:15pm, Aug 12-25
Why Over the past few years Sara Pascoe has been winning audiences over with her engaging mix of the personal and the political, of the philosophical and the silly. In her new show she does exactly this all the while being both thought provoking and entertaining, with a healthy dose of self-deprecation to make her all the more likable. Her style of almost thinking-out loud allows her to explore serious and relevant issues, be it female sexuality, the ‘page three debate’ and the sexism of Robin Thicke, in a way that never feels contrived or heavy, but rather like an intelligent rant framed by her own experiences, often sexual.


Originally published August 2014 on suitcasemag.com . Click here to read article.