Friday, August 08, 2008

Festival Update

Phew! Well obviously not a spare second for blogging in August but here's a quick update from the festival. Shows going well. My solo effort Apes Like Me (7pm C soco Urban Garden tickets here) took a bit of adjusting. The venue, though technically a tent feels a bit too much like a theatre for my liking and people at least to start with were arriving expecting me to recite a well-learnt script, not leap off the stage and start wandering about asking them about themselves and so on. But I've given it a few tweaks to include a bit more script and at least warn people before I get into the crowd too far.

The surprise hit of the festival has been The Comedy Manifesto. At 4pm at the Beehive on Grassmarket I wasn't sure we'd get an audience at all for a topical news panel show. But following a rave review from Fringe Report we've been standing room only most days! It's free to get in, which helps, but some people have been back several times. Must update the show more often!!

Far too busy to see any of the other stuff that's on so far but seems like it's going well and most people not complaining about the credit crunch, etc too much. If you're a reader and are coming to the show(s) please hang around after and say hi - I love to meet readers!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Kate,

Last night I was visiting a friend in Edinburgh and we decided to go to your show, because we had seen you on The F Word and suchlike and thought that it would be nice to support a fellow feminist and socialist.

You did a bit about not being able to understand Scottish accents, demonstrating it with an impression of you walking down Princes Street and a scary Scottish woman asking you what time Primark shuts.

Firstly, the 'aren't people with Scottish accents scary' bit is really tired.

Secondly, Edinburgh doesn't actually have a Primark.

Thirdly, "Do I look like I shop in Primark?" is one of the hateful things I have ever heard a comedian say, let alone a so-called progressive one. I was really disappointed.

Nearly everything I was wearing when I went to see your show was from Primark. That's because I'm poor. Society tells women we have to look good at all times, and for poor women like me, that means we have to go to Primark. They sell some nice things. I thought I looked pretty good in my Primark togs - I guess you didn't think so?

Me and my pal spent what little money we had on going to your show because we wanted to support someone with the same ideals as us, someone who we felt we might actually be able to relate to.

It would have been nice if you'd supported us and not made fun of not only what we wear, but the fact that we're poor.


Disappointed Glaswegian Feminist

P.S. I was also very surprised about the many missed opportunities for feminist, socialist or socially progressive punchlines during your show (pregnant porters in Africa, porn, pubic hair shaving, why having three pairs of breasts would be an improvement on women...) However, it's your show, you can say what you like. You have no obligation to be feminist during it. I do think you have an obligation not to be hateful towards 'common' people, though.

Cruella said...

Actually I said Northern Irish accents are scary. And all I said about Scottish accents was that you rarely hear them down south, they tend to be very watered down. I at no stage suggested people from anywhere were scary - I was talking about the sound of the accents.

That said, you are of course welcome to take offense at whatever you like but I don't think that Primark - a huge corporation selling cheap clothing on the back of the international child labour market is out of bounds. There are lots of ways of dressing cheaply. I don't spend much on clothes myself but I prefer charity shop stuff and stuff from cheaper independent places.

And the rest...

My point about the pregnant porter in Africa was (a) that she was well able to do her job fully and (b) that by western cultural standards it seemed wrong to see a pregnant woman doing heavy lifting work.

The joke about the porn video is about who it might belong to, it's neither pro- nor anti- porn it's just a joke about people being embarrassed to own such a video.

The joke about pubic shaving is really about how ridiculous it is - I think I could totally argue it is a "feminist" joke. But in any case it's certainly not implying women SHOULD shave.

And as to the idea of three pairs of breasts - that was something a member of the audience suggested, not me. If every time someone in the audience made a suggestion I jumped down their throat, I hardly think we'd end up with much atmosphere in the room. When asked to improve on the design of the human body I don't see why a guy wouldn't shout "extra breasts", you were sat there too - why didn't you ask for a "bigger dick" or whatever improvements you would like to the male body?

There is also a lot in there that covers plastic surgery from a very feminist perspective. And sometimes if I have time I do a skit about Peter Stringfellow being an idiot.

But no - the show is not specifically about feminism - it's about evolution. I spent a great deal of time talking about the evils of religion. I think if you take a step back you will notice that religion is dong a great deal more to oppress women and the poor than a couple of jokes about Primark.