An Ungrateful Woman
Gravitas with giggles by the barrel load at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe ★★★★
Written by Kelly Apter in The List on August 10th, 2014
Most comedians think they’ve got something important to say. But sitting in front of Bridget Christie, you get the sense that something fairly seismic is happening.
In her own small way, she is handing women a set of empowering tools, opening men’s eyes and giving us all pause for thought. Which would be a terrible way to spend an hour at a Fringe comedy show were Christie not so beautifully adept at packaging it in the right way.
When she takes a (brief) moment to talk about female genital mutilation, the stoning to death of a woman in Pakistan by her own father, or the (inexplicable) addition of ‘anti-rape pants’ onto the lingerie market, you don’t feel uncomfortable, as could so easily be the case: you feel informed. And safe in the knowledge that any second now, she’ll throw in a killer line that will have the whole room guffawing loudly.
Being able to sit such things side by side, without diminishing the gravitas of the subject matter or our need for a good laugh, is a rare talent. It’s also opening doors, not just for Christie’s career but into the halls of power. Government is now listening to what she has to say and, sitting in her show, you get a real sense of riding a very important crest into the future.
You only have to look around the room to see why Christie won last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award: she can talk to everyone and make them laugh. Split equally between men and women, from late teens to pensioners, her demographic speaks volumes. Nobody (no, not even men) feels attacked (except maybe husband, Stewart Lee who comes in for a kicking over his laundry requests), because Christie doesn’t point the finger of blame. She extends the hand of shared responsibility, in the best possible way.