Review: Katherine Ryan Glam Role Model at the Nuffield Theatre (26/10/14)


4 stars


Katherine Ryan shot onto our screens and into our hearts in big comedy panel TV shows such as 8 Out of 10 Cats, Never Mind The Buzzcocks and of course Mock The Week. Who can forget when she took on Nicki Minaj’s Starships in a ‘big-butt’ suit? Finally the Canadian comedian brings her own tour through the UK and as always shockingly quick-witted and ballsy she doesn’t disappoint.

Beginning with Dane Baptiste to open the show his disposition is more sedate than Ryan’s but no less funny. A combination of short stories and one-liners Baptiste dances around work issues, the differences between men and women and even racism. Making jokes about halloween and references to the KKK Baptiste is just as shocking as Ryan but perhaps his delivery is more stoic taking on a different approach that helps to point out the irony he alludes to. Baptiste took on gender stereotypes, the friend zone but most importantly identity and here he clearly demonstrates that perhaps after this he is ready for a tour of his own.

Ryan’s  appearance is deceptive; entering on stage in patent heeled Doc Martens and a cheery grin she soon launches into talking about being a single mom to a cute five-year-old daughter identified as her ‘flatmate’, though we’re quickly into some of nicely filthy material about sex, relationships and inevitably birthing – “I shot her out of my vag!” – and Glam Role Model identifies quickly as a loud, proud feminist show.

Ryan isn’t afraid to take on huge topical issues such as the recent Oscar Pistorius sentencing, the over-sexualisation of society and of course the recent celebrity photo hacking scandal. All of this results in a discussion of the class differences that caused the victimisation of Jennifer Lawrence and slut-shaming of N-Dubz singer Tulisa Contostavlos with that sex-tape. Ryan rounds this segment off with a spot-on impersonation – about getting into a war of words with Tulisa on a TV show  and then having to deal with the aftermath on social media as the star’s fans expressed their faux outrage. “Why is it all threats against women on Twitter have to be rapey?” Ryan asks drily clearly outlining perhaps the differences between being trolled between the genders.

Katherine Ryan however takes on her toughest subject when she addresses a rather controversial topic, abortion. Musing about the experience rather frankly Ryan takes on a topic that may turn her audience away. Here, however, it only seems to make her more human, demonstrating the access-all-areas tone that has made her a well-known name. Throughout her set Ryan also discusses topics that affect women from being told from a young age that “you can marry a prince” to the prioritising of beauty optimised by glamour models in England and even cheating.

Eventually though our new favourite feminist wraps up her set with a piece all about another favourite of society, Beyonce. Launching into a powerful impersonation of twerking and exploration of what is known as ‘clea-vag’ Ryan talks of all that makes Beyonce powerful including her owning of her sexuality and even her ability to make motherhood sexy.  And so tweaking and grinding her way off of stage with the statement that everyone in the audience can be a strong, beautiful, black woman Ryan exits. With her exit Ryan stamps her unique brand of comedy on all our hearts and firmly places herself among the comic elite.

If you too have an obsession with celebrity, love a frank-talking feminist than you can purchase tickets to the rest of Katherine Ryan’s tour here. 


About Author

BA English student at University of Southampton and Editor for The Edge (2015-16). A deep love of reading, theatre and all things entertainment.

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