Bridget Christie at the Playhouse – 24 March 2018

The recent ‘Times Up’ campaign exposing Hollywood’s sordid past is long overdue. The solidarity that was witnessed at the Baftas and the Oscars, particularly by Francis McDormand, displayed a new togetherness, and hopefully a change is gonna come. But in the world of comedy, the ‘comediene’ has always suffered from misogyny, from Joan Rivers to Linda Smith, and more recently, Josie Long, Susan Calman, Lucy Beaumont, Sandi Toksvig and Bridget Christie, to name a few, are now getting the deserved opportunity to show their talents off.

Tonight’s gig at the Playhouse is by Bridget Christie, whose Radio 4 series, “Bridget Christie’s Utopia”, which recently ended, had me searching YouTube for extra clips. So the opportunity to witness her live act could not be missed.

The sparse setting that greeted me – one microphone and a plain background – indicated the content of Bridget’s show. The pre-gig music and the eclectic styles that preceded the show, also are a sign that this could be a sporadic comic gig.

The opening 30 minutes combined a no-nonsense approach and Bridget appeared to be slightly nervous. Some of the content was aired on her Radio 4 show, but witnessing a comedian live is no different to watching a band performing an old song, if an old joke is funny and well delivered, then it’s still funny.

After a 20 minute interval, Bridget returned to complete the remaining eighty minutes show, and included in the set was a long monologue about the commercial pressure and pointless celebration of Valentine’s Day. She recalled a conversation with her daughter about how in poorer countries, this capitalist celebration merely puts pressure on people to part with what little money they have; and with couples needing to improve on what they bought the year before the whole 14 February celebration just snowballs!! She then finishes with the line, “But don’t let me spoil the day for you”.

The combination of the domestic and the political worked in unison tonight, from raising her young children to describing Theresa May as a robot. Of course Donald Trump never escaped Bridget’s sharp wit, but that could be said of many comedians throughout the world. She also tackles feminism and her meeting with Pussy Riot singer, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova at a literary festival.

Tonight, there may have been the usual exaggerated tale for comedic effect, but, combined with precise political analysis on Putin, Trump and May, the gig evolved into an entertaining and informative comedy show, plus her monologues gave the audience a slight hint into another creative avenue for Bridget.

Check out her Radio 4 series, “Bridget Christie’s Utopia” if you don’t believe me.

Kev Lea

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