Zoë Coombs Marr: Bossy Bottom (4 stars)

Zoë Coombs Marr: Bossy Bottom

Christa Holka

An enjoyable meta hour which keeps toxicity in its sights

After some years of deconstructing the whole idea of comedy through her misogynistic stand-up character 'Dave', Zoë Coombs Marr is finally up on stage being herself. Well, kind of. She might make a promise straight away that Bossy Bottom will feature no trickery, but if you were unaware before now, you can add stand-up comic to the list of inherently untrustworthy vocations alongside second-hand car seller, lawyer and estate agent. And, OK, a certain type of journalist.

The upshot is a vibrant and playful re-examination of what a comedy gig can look like with possible glimpses of the real Coombs Marr amid the meta hi-jinks. Set up as the comedy show that never fully starts, the joke is twisted inside and out while a screen announces her name in bold capital letters, frequently altering to a variation on Zoë Coombs Marr and eventually making it someone else's altogether.

After a truly breathless start, the Australian comic clearly recognises that this frenetic opening is impossible to maintain for a whole 60 minutes, and wisely settles down, allowing the crowd to catch its collective breath. Once the early fisting jokes have subsided, she goes for the throat of the toxic males who have been unveiled in recent times as well as re-enacting the horrible incident which led to her creating 'Dave'. Now on stage with an act which appears closer to her own self, Zoë Coombs Marr keeps the heat on the behaviours and mindsets she's been fighting against all along.

Monkey Barrel, until 25 Aug, 7.30pm, 22 Aug, 10.30pm, £8–£10 in advance or donations at the venue.

Zoë Coombs Marr: Bossy Bottom

  • 4 stars

Soho Theatre in association with Token Events Zoë has been on hiatus. Sort of. For the past six years, she’s been a terrible male comedian with a neckbeard called Dave, winning stacks of awards and tons of great reviews. Whatever. Now, she’s scraped off the neckbeard and is back… as herself. Winner: Melbourne…

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