Donkey Punch ★★★★

Adam Lebovits - Broadway Baby - Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

If a stand-up show concludes with an impassioned yell of the phrase ‘women’s rights are worth farting for’, chances are you’re not in the company of a normal stand-up.
This phrase is the clarion call for one of the best ending set-ups I’ve seen at the Fringe so far, which I won’t spoil here. It also sums up what’s best about Bridget Christie’s style in this show – a beguiling mixture of potent feminism and sincere messages grounded in a strong sense of the absurd and a masterful display of ironic self-undercutting.

As well as a striking ending, War Donkey possesses a deliriously inventive opening.
Within ten minutes, the audience have seen two costume changes and have been asked to imagine the prim surroundings of the Assembly Rooms as a warzone, complete with accompanying lighting, smoke and sound. Following this there’s a call to tackle the problems of stereotypes of female comedians by rolling around in a donkey suit, as a standpoint against the degradation of ‘donkeyhood’. It’s a mesmeric introduction to the work of a brilliant comic mind.

Though the remainder of the show never quite floors the audience with as outlandish display a of surrealism, it sets the tone for a performer not just tacking jokes onto ‘big issues’ but showing those issues to be inseparable from a manic, negative joke-logic. Her messages always crackle with comic energy and as such are given a real charge.
Whether comparing the troubling vogue for cosmetic vaginal surgery to issues of interior design or tearing apart the idea of ‘Tory Feminists’, there is an impressive balance of hilarious tangents, puns and punchlines, and the presence of righteous anger.

Her refusal to separate thorny issues from the embrace of the ridiculous that makes the all the best comedy great manages to produce belly laughs from a capacity crowd and make the real problems she discusses more electrifying and exciting than a truckload of earnest and tedious ‘political comedians’. Never hectoring and always engaging, Christie’s comedy never shies away from packing a real, incendiary punch.


What Now?
Because You Demanded It / Mortal
A Book For Her
An Ungrateful Woman
A Bic For Her
War Donkey
Housewife Surrealist
A Ant
My Daily Mail Hell
The Court Of King Charles II – The Second
The Court Of King Charles II
The Cheese Roll

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