I think we have an early contender for the award … Bridget Christie’s manic attack at institutionalised sexism is a joy to behold, even if – by her own acknowledgement – it’s an unpromising premise, especially at 11.10am.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen anger and joy combine to such great effect at a comedy show. Like a cheery pop song that masks more sober lyrics, A Bic For Her is a show that pulls you in one direction then shoves you in another, all by the sheer force of Christie’s charisma and powerful stage presence.
The focal points of her ire are Sir Sterling Moss due to some daft comments he made earlier this year (she spins this into a bad taste fantasy about his funeral), the titular pen brought out by Bic for “the smaller hand”, and in particular the normalisation of graphic lads’ mags that find their way onto the bottom shelves. And this is where the room experiences another shift – shock at Christie’s one-woman vigilantism against the shops that stock these mags, Whether it’s true or not, it’s a compelling routine that elicits yet more hearty laughter from the Stand.
The opening section is a blistering display of comedy that riffs on feminist role models and Maggie Thatcher’s famous “the lady’s not for turning” quote. And if you thought there was no comedy to be excavated from debating the semantic interpretations of the word “feminist”, then think again.
Christie says that, for her, this show is more a chance to say some socially unacceptable things (which she does) rather than pursuing a career in comedy. Which seems an odd thing to say given she’s been a comic for about a decade. Her previous incarnations as a satirical stand-up have invariably involved dressing up – see A Ant, for example – but it would appear the more literal she has got, the defter her touch has become, culminating in this grandstand performance.
It’s a common complaint that ‘state of the nation’ shows, or at least timely, political ones, are few and far between in modern comedy, and it’s true. Well here is one, and while I cringe a bit to describe any comedy show as “important”, Christie’s feels exactly that.