Mary Bourke: Muffragette
Comedian tackles politically charged topics of misogyny and objectification while keeping you laughing
This article is from 2013.
Mary Bourke confronts misogyny and uses her anger to fuel a thought-provoking hour. Mixing polemic with humour, she steers clear of stereotypes like dour dungaree-wearers and, without sacrificing her message, makes sure the laughs outweigh the rants.
Bourke raises the topical issue of female comics being harassed on Twitter and not only highlights the problem but also offers solutions for slaying internet trolls. The current vogue for gender-swapped advertising – in which men recreate stereotypically female poses and hence show their overt objectification or sexualisation – also gets a nod to great effect and leads to a stellar visual demonstration by her assistant.
Finding the funny in things that aren't isn't easy. With such a politically-charged topic, there are a few audience stutters when they try to decide whether it's ok to laugh at a particular joke. A couple of conceits ensure that those in the audience who aren't card-carrying feminists are not left out. Yes, there's an agenda: to make a roomful of people laugh (while also reminding them that women deserve to be treated as equals in society). Who could disagree with that?
The Stand Comedy Club III & IV, 558 7272, until 25 Aug (not 12), 5.50pm, £8 (£7).