A Book For Her
A Book For Her ★★★★
Written by Larry Bartleet in Broadway Baby on August 17th, 2015
It’s 11 am – for some, the time for a late, leisurely breakfast. For Bridget Christie, it’s time to take stock: the Tories are in. Cuts are ravaging our public services. Refugees are being left in the Mediterranean to drown. Feminism can’t even get the VAT on sanitary products lifted, let alone raise the conviction rate for rape. July’s third-child tax credit proposal is a heartless absurdity. And in May, almost four million voters chose UKIP, a party one of whose (ex-)councillors, Rozanne Duncan, said, ‘I just don’t want to look’ at black people.
Christie is angry about all this. No, it’s more than that. She’s a fervent icon of political rage, but instead of letting her anger boil over, she shapes it into well-directed torrents of ire. Shielding us from the glare, she makes her searing points via off-the-wall anecdotes, crushing sarcasm, and re-imagined conversations between Cabinet members. There’s a winning hope to her fury, which ensures that despite the early hour and the heavy subject matter, her set is irrepressibly buoyant.
She takes no prisoners – Tory voters, Jeremy Clarkson, Katie Hopkins, the Labour leadership election, and the dreaded Tory government all take a well-deserved bashing. She even freshens up the tired ‘explaining feminism’ trope, with gleeful relish.
Labelled ‘feminist comedian Bridget Christie’ since her knockout 2013 show A Bic For Her, she is keen to change that perception with a more expansive look at other subjects, and race is the one area she doesn’t quite nail. As she segues into this topic, she notes the discomfort of her overwhelmingly white audience, and asks why there aren’t more BME people here.
Her comments linking Rachel Dolezal, Caitlyn Jenner and the Charleston shootings have us all nodding in agreement, but not laughing – at least, not so much as her other material does. She’s right that we all need to relax, but it’s not just by saying so that it will happen; she makes a start, though.
There’s really very little to fault in the 50-minute set (followed by a cheeky signing of the titular book). It’s essentially just a collection of things Christie wants us to consider, but almost every well-researched sentence earns its place comedically too. All the while, her righteous anger bubbles beneath the surface. Forget breakfast: this is an invigorating wake-up call.