For the past few years, Bridget Christie has been been firing on more comic cylinders than feels strictly right or proper. And, with this year’s superb offering, she thankfully shows no sign of stopping.
Largely re-written after June’s Brexit vote, Mortal – a crisply unflabby 50 minutes in length – sees her tackle the pressing subject of the moment: gardening. Well, not exactly. True, Christie cheerfully sets the show up as an encomium to her favourite blooms, with promises that she’s not going to get on to the myriad depressing topics of the moment. But, of course, she’s soon unleashing her full arsenal on Cameron, Farage, “Leave” voters, the press, the BBC, moronic men and (also delightfully true to form), herself.
As ever, Christie wears her great intelligence as lightly as can be, masterfully juggles levity and seriousness, full-blooded passion and twinkly-eyed playfulness, and is also particularly good at creating and interweaving elaborate routines that arch round to conclusions as satisfying as they are hilarious. Any cavils (a brief joke she’s essentially done before; a punchline you might see coming; an ending that’s merely good) are small, and a winning dash of physical comedy has also crept back into Christie’s comic goodie-bag: her impersonation of Michael Gove clapping justifies a visit all on its own.
Whatever your political views, this show – essentially a plea for tolerance and respect across all possible divides, as well as a hymn to the importance of knowledge – is one you’d be foolish to miss.