If you’ve heard that Bridget Christie is the best feminist comedian at the Fringe, or the best female comedian at the Fringe, tell your pals/reviewers/cabbie to wise up.
She’s the funniest comedian at the Fringe, and she doesn’t need her audience to be half-pissed with an ability to focus on little more than panel show-pleasing gagtastic one-liners in a primetime slot in a showy venue to kick everyone else’s arse.
If you can make the entire cram-packed basement room in the Stand double over in agonies of laughter at 11am then in the next breath get them to really use their heads to think and to absorb some horrific facts about the real world – without glazing over or feeling lectured to or ranted at – you are a comedian of rare genius. Which she is.
Christie won the Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2013 and that’s the starting point for her new set. Where do you go from there?
You’ve been hailed one of the UK’s leading feminists and its funniest female comedian, the government is listening to you, you’ve joined forces with fighters like Leyla Hussein who is fighting to stop FGM, and Christie highlights the appalling fact that despite it being illegal in Britain since 1985, young girls continue to be subjected to it and there hasn’t been a single prosecution.
A lot of what you’re confronted with is not pretty: you’ll hear about women being stoned to death, gang rape in India, and everyday “good old British sexism, let’s get out some Union Jacks and wave them.”
But in the giggly bubble of the Fringe it’s important – even more so here where you hope that minds are open and people from across the globe converge. And among facts that stop you in your tracks, still Christie manages to make you laugh more in a one-hour set than a lifetime spent in purgatory watching Michael McIntyre DVDs.
Her being-a-mum and spouse jokes are about the funniest you’ll hear, she brings a surreal twist to any subject (try Celebrity Squares) and she writhes around the stage like a comedian possessed.
She’s female and feminist, but most of all Christie is fiercely clever and rib-crackingly funny in ways the stand-ups who inexplicably top the Christmas sales lists could never dream of.
We emerge from a now-sweaty, tiny room just after noon with heads filled, hearts burning to make the world a better place, exhausted from laughing and with a compulsion to see another Bridget Christie gig as soon as possible.