After missing a turning in the dark (easy to do as the turn was on a bend and the sign wasn’t clear), we made it to the Flavel literally two minutes before the show was due to start. Dave dropped me at the door and went off to park the car while I legged it into the foyer to collect our tickets and then ran up the stairs to the teeny bar to grab a beer for Dave and a soft drink for me (as designated driver for the journey home). The queue was going in and I hovered at the back waiting for Dave to join me, which he did a few seconds later, breathing quite hard and looking relieved to have finally arrived!
The Flavel is a lovely glass fronted art centre built on three levels. http://theflavel.org.uk/TheFlavel.dll/Home We were on the front row of the performance space, which is on the first floor, at the end nearest the door. Handy for getting in and out quickly without disturbing anybody!
Bridget announced herself and came on to say hello, and tell us that, in case we didn’t already know, tonight’s show was going to be in two parts, with the first part of about 45 minutes being her 2013 Edinburgh show, A Bic For Her, and the second part being her 2014 show, An Ungrateful Woman. We have seen both of these shows at The Stand in Edinburgh these last two years, both of which we’ve actually had to stand for each entire hour due to the company’s helpful (NOT) policy of selling more tickets than it has seats available.
In Bridget’s first section we had the by now very well honed A Bic For Her (Fosters Award “Best Show” at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe). Bridget is a modern, right thinking, woman’s comedian, a (thankfully) non-apologetic feminist who picks her battles. With surreality and silliness, Bridget guns down the sort of everyday sexism, to which we’ve become so inured, that to our shame it barely offends any more. From Stirling Moss commenting that women don’t have the mental ability to be racing drivers, to pens for women (soft grip and pastel colours) and then moves to all out war and activism on lad mags mixed with the kids’ comics on low shelves in supermarkets. All excellent stuff and raising cheers of support from the Flavel punters. There was a group of ladies somewhere near the back who were especially enjoying the show; it couldn’t really be called heckling, but it was definitely interruptive and Bridget had to keep telling them to pipe down or we’d never get to the end of the night!
Into a break and then Bridget was on stage again with An Ungrateful Woman. Well written and still on the feminist theme (did they think she was done with it after just an hour as Christie says), this time it’s the advertisers who are fodder for Christie’s cannons, and don’t they deserve every potshot. From yoghurt ( an extremely well written, funny and thought provoking piece about an audition for Muller yoghurt) to wrongly targeted anti-rape pants, from H & M’s bikini advert starring “rock limpet” Giselle Blundchen to just about every portrayal of any women by the advertising media. This show will really make you look at the next few telly ads or billboards that you see with a freshly retuned feminist eye. As for the name of the show – to paraphrase Bridget, this is from the fact that we women should be “grateful that we are allowed to get up and speak in public at all” and “at least Britain isn’t as bad as Saudi Arabia, we’re just a bit sexist”!
Other strong topics were Malala Yousafzai’s recent Nobel Peace Prize speech and FGM (female genital mutilation) which Bridget has spoken out about on numerous occasions. Indeed during her Edinburgh show there were handouts about the subject for our information.
Two terrific shows with the same message, but I have the feeling that Bridget still has a lot more to say under the banner of feminism – the fight is not over yet!
PS – meeting Bridget after the show, we presented her with a framed copy of her namesake, one of our wee recently rescued hens. I asked Bridget if I could have my picture taken with her, and even though she said she hated having her picture taken, she graciously submitted to the camera. To save her embarrassment the pic with this blog is of the “other” Bridget.