Early on in her show, Bridget Christie says that she was ready to give up on stand-up last year.
Thank goodness she stuck with it. This is a fiery, original and laughter-packed hour which announces her as one of the finest and most engaging comedians around.
Her topic this year is the emancipation of women, no less. And while she describes herself self-deprecatingly as being to Simone de Beauvoir “what Horrible Histories are to Simon Schama”, that is no bad thing. Her take on feminism – witty, wise, a little off-the-wall – shares the best qualities of that children’s television show and deserves to be seen by as wide an audience.
It is not just feminists, after all, who can appreciate the absurdity of Bic bringing out a range of pretty, pastel-coloured pens “for women” – something Christie illustrates with a playlet imagining how much better the Brontës might have been if their quills hadn’t been so drab and heavy.
Similarly gags about Thatcher and an extended riff on sexist sports commentators involving Stirling Moss falling down a lift shaft spin off in dizzying directions before arriving back to land a sucker punch on everyday sexism.
The hour races by with Christie as at home with one-liners and silly quizzes as she is with a sustained, impassioned tale about her one-woman war against explicit images on supermarket shelves. A winningly warm perfomer, Christie has found a way to merge the personal and the political and to make it terrifically funny.