Mini reviews and F-Word comedy announcement!
Holly Combe // 20 August 2013
Chella Quint launches the F-Word comedy section with a rundown on the shows at the Edinburgh Fringe that she chose to spend her time seeing.
This is the official opening, minus the ribbon cutting. If you would like to do your own ribbon cutting ceremony, and you have ribbon and a pair of scissors, please join in at home.
I’m really excited that The F Word decided to have a comedy section! I’m pretty excited most of the time, actually. I’m quite enthusiastic about stuff. I’m a big fan of intersectional feminism. I like performing comedy and spoken word so I can use humour and parody to call out privilege, bias and discrimination. I also enjoy watching comedians who use their comedy as a tool for challenging societal norms, rather than the ones who stand on stage being a tool.
The tone you’ll find in reviews for this section will be generally upbeat and positive and may include constructive criticism. This is not a restaurant review section and there will be no witheringly nasty remarks; these reviews will tell you what made the reviewer laugh and why other F Word readers might like check the comedian out. Oh yeah – the reviews and features will cover a broad interpretation of comedy since there’s so much crossover between genres. Expect future reviews to include sketch comedy, impro and panel shows as well as stand up, radio comedy, comedy writing, spoken word, and cabaret, where appropriate.
In comedy current events, we’re into the last week of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This year has been dubbed The Feminist Fringe by several news sources, although last year’s programme was just as feminist in content and representation (and also included Josie Long, who’s taking a rare summer off, but who was amazing in 2012 with one of the best shows I’ve ever seen). This year, it seems a lot of shows are about feminism, which is what the news has chosen to focus on (and it’s worth saying that the Fringe is disproportionally white and male compared to the general population) but there are loads of intersectionally feminist shows up there this year and there’s still time to see a whole bunch of them. I hope the Fringe will be even more feminist next year and that the media doesn’t treat this like some sort of weird feminist flavour of the month.
Full disclosure: I was up at the Fringe performing short sets in other people’s shows for a few days to give it a go myself. This means I’ve met a couple of these comics because I’ve appeared on a bill with them or we have a friend in common. While I’m clearly totally biased toward awesome feminist comedy, these are the shows I chose to spend my time seeing at the Fringe. I endorse them wholeheartedly and want to share them all with you.
This show got a great review from The F Word in previews and is even sharper at the Fringe. At this show, I have the slightly surreal pleasure of sitting behind what appear to be genuine Tory Youth, who are trying to attempt what I believe in the UK is referred to as ‘barracking’. Kate Smurthwaite’s presence at the very front of this long, slim venue is so strong, clever and commanding that these boys never quite dare to take their noise above a mutter and they don’t actually manage to disrupt the show at any point. The set itself has loads and loads of content that would rile the politically conservative, which is hilarious and necessary, and Kate is really on form with some business involving props and slapstick as well! Come for the comedy activism, stay for the bit with the wig. Also, Kate Smurthwaite organises the comedy section of the PBH Free Fringe and that whole strand has got a great line up…
The F Word comedy section logo: A mint green square with moss green writing – The F Word logo over the word comedy in Yikes! font.