Desiree Burch: Unf*ckable (4 stars)

This article is from 2017

Desiree Burch: Unfuckable

credit: Tean Roberts

Gritty detail and sharp analysis on being a sexual black woman

Desiree Burch is here to be real with you about the actualities of sex. What starts off as a meditation on the comical differences between Americans and Brits soon segues into discussions of finger-banging, accompanied by hand gestures and Burch's uninhibited scorn at people's failings in that particular area. Unf*ckable is an hour of sex-positive storytelling through Burch's explorations of the quirks that everyone possesses and her own strange encounters with perverts and short, hairy men. Throughout the show, she muses about her past as a virgin professional dominatrix in New York and her present as a cat-owning writer and comic, with unashamed realism, gritty detail and sharp commentary.

Burch truly comes into her own in her ruminations on the familiar trope of the strong black woman, who is expected to withstand any difficulty, taking shit from no one while always remaining ready with a sassy comeback. But as she explains, this stereotype exists because of the emotional and physical labour that black women have endured for centuries, taking on the burdens of their families and communities. With her acknowledgement that she sees herself as a 'weak black woman' in comparison to the likes of Tina Turner and Oprah, she succeeds in breaking down this odd view of black womanhood that people seem to project.

But in the show's primary narrative, which revolves around her former sex work and current erotic life, some anecdotes also reveal an attempt to subvert preconceived notions. Unf*ckable is full of deeply intimate stories with feminist undertones but they are made all the more amusing by Desiree Burch's unbounding charisma and larger than life stage presence.

Heroes @ Bob's BlundaBus, until 27 Aug (not 22), 10pm; Heroes @ Monkey Barrel, 24 Aug, 11.50pm, £5 or Pay What You Want.

Desiree Burch: Unf*ckable

Raw and raucous observations and advice from the 2015 Funny Women-winner, poking around the drives women have to stop sex from becoming work.