The Change

The menopause is coming to a woman near you soon, and The Change personifies it perfectly

Men, are you listening?

Written by Helen Fear in Entertainment Daily on June 21st, 2023

The Change is a brand new six-part C4 comedy series written by multi-award-winning comedian Bridget Christie, and I predict it will become a cult hit – find out why in my review.

Bridget plays a menopausal woman called Linda who reaches a crossroads in her life. The mum-of-two has just turned 50, and her rather pathetic birthday party provides a catalyst for her growing discontentment. So, she decides to set off on an adventure.

No one really listens to her, her kids don’t really need her anymore, and she feels like the hired help – only without the perk of being paid. I recognise Linda, and I think many other women will too.

But Linda doesn’t roar her disenchantment with life – she says it quietly and politely. And therein lies the strength of this comedy series. Here’s my review of The Change on C4.

I want to say straight away that I’m not one of those man-hating women on a crusade. My husband does his fair share of the household chores, and he doesn’t make me feel like his cleaner. Smug married? Not quite, but he’s alright.

But… every woman alive knows what it’s like to be taken for granted. What it’s like to be mansplained. To be chatted up when you just want to read a book and have a pint in a quiet pub.

Bridget Christie’s Linda wants just that, too. After a depressingly below-average 50th birthday party, which she threw herself for herself, Linda decides to visit the doctor to discuss some symptoms she’s been having.

Worried she has early-onset dementia, osteoporosis, anxiety, depression and “a mental disorder involving loss of nouns”, she’s instead told she’s approaching the menopause.

Now you can bury your head in the sand about it all you like, but the menopause is coming to a woman near you soon, and The Change personifies it perfectly…

All men, women and children should sit down and watch Bridget Christie’s The Change for a glimpse – albeit a humorous one – at what the menopause can be like for women. But this isn’t a ‘poor us’ either. This is an affirmation of the good things that can come from ‘the change’ too.

It’s also just about being a woman, a human, someone just hoping to be understood. This comedy drama is a very funny take on a woman, standing in front of the world, asking them to leave her alone for a minute. And I hear her loud and clear!

Bridget Christie is AMAZING as Linda

Stand-up comedian Bridget Christie is brilliantly understated as the ‘invisible woman’ Linda. She could easily be the woman next door, or the lady queuing behind you in the supermarket.

She’s very ‘normal’ until she decides to walk out on her husband – for a month or so – to go in search of a time capsule she hid in a tree when she was a child. While her borderline useless husband protests that he can’t find where the towels are, she takes off on her old Triumph motorbike. And I was cheering her all the way.

I’m now ashamed to admit I have never heard of Bridget Christie before. Famous for her stand-up career, she’s actually done very little TV. But this was worth the wait.

She recently told press: “I have found that coming out the other side of my reproductive years has just been overwhelmingly positive for me… I feel kind of freed from it all. I feel more like myself as a child now and I would love it if more women felt like that.

“I’ve got another, let’s hope, 30 years to live and I just feel sort of unencumbered by a lot of social pressures and things like that in a really overwhelmingly positive way.”

Move over Davina, Bridget Christie is my new menopause hero…

To borrow the highly intellectual chat of the Love Islanders if I may be so bold, The Change looked like a bit of me. And it does not disappoint.

Incase you haven’t guessed, I am most definitely the target audience. I am approaching 50, have two kids who need me less and less every day, and repetitive strain injury from loading and unloading the dishwasher.

I believe Bridget Christie speaks for all the ‘invisible’ woman in this sitcom about the menopause. But, more importantly, it’s just funny. In a world with too many mediocre – I’m being kind – sitcoms out there, this six-parter nails it.

And the cast is simply outstanding. The Lesser Spotted Liza Tarbuck returns to TV to play Linda’s sister Siobhan, while Omid Djalili plays the disappointing sausage-catching (not a euphemism) husband Steve.

But the real characters pop up when Linda arrives in the Forest of Dean, a destination populated by eccentrics from the moment she arrives. Personal favourites include the brilliant Susan Lynch as Agnes, and her quite mad ‘eel sister’ Carmel, played by Monica Dolan (recently brilliant in the Black Mirror film Lock Henry).

Meanwhile, Motherland star Tanya Moodie plays Joy, Jerome Flynn is Pig Man, Paul Whitehouse is Tony, and Jim Howick is The Verderer. Casts do not come much better than that.

The Change is THE television series I didn’t know I needed in my life right now. I was crying – real tears! – in laughter, or was that just another menopause symptom…?

Written by Helen Fear in Entertainment Daily on 21st June 2023.
Filed Under: The Change