An Ungrateful Woman
An Ungrateful Woman ★★★★★
Written by Veronica Lee in The Arts Desk on August 13th, 2014
This is the “difficult second album” show for Bridget Christie, despite her having done 10 years at the Fringe.
She finally found her voice at last year’s festival, deservedly winning the Edinburgh Comedy Award after a raft of five-star reviews for her avowedly feminist show, A Bic for Her – but how do you follow that? With another five-star show, obviously.
An Ungrateful Woman starts with Christie “confessing” that she expected last year’s show, about everyday sexism, to fail to attract an audience – so then she would have an excuse to give up comedy and live off her husband’s income. It’s a clever bit of self-satire to draw us into an hour that deals with some very serious subjects – female genital mutilation included – but which never feels preachy.
Christie references all manner of things, including a trip to a sex shop to buy some bunny ears for the show or (so she says) a letter to former Education Secretary Michael Gove – who really let her down by replying – while developing the gag-packed hour into a brilliantly argued polemic about the state of women today.
She picks up on an asinine comment from a right-wing journalist, who suggested that British sexists are in some way better than foreign sexists, to deliver a wonderfully sarcastic, withering tour de force about a frightened young woman walking home late at night who unfurls a Union flag in celebration of the fact that the violent sexual assault that will follow will be better than the one she might suffer in, say, Saudi Arabia.
Christie deftly marries the personal to the political in a brilliantly constructed show, and she will be touring An Ungrateful Woman and A Bic For Her in a double bill later this year. I can’t recommend them highly enough.