Tag Archives: comedy

So, You Think You Are Funny?

Right then, deciding to become a comedian

Involves the task of deciding what type you’ll be,

A simple buffoon or a sesquipedalian

Have motives to get you to look at what they see

And method to do that and people they think will agree,


If Humour, as such, is the kind you desire,

Discovery leads, simply draw back any veil

To sympathetic audiences who require

Astute observations of life’s epic tale,

A laugh at ourselves when we’re great and when we fail,


When Wit is the aim of your smart intervention,

Light up a somewhere, somewhere no-one’s gone before,

Intelligent listeners will get your intention,

Surprise is essential to make its motives sure

And what wouldn’t we give to be witty to the core?


Should Satire take your wandering imagination,

You subtly want the world to this time get it right,

The self-satisfied, whether person or nation,

Accentuated absurdly, to great delight,

Are source and cause for satire’s somewhat dangerous plight,


If Sarcasm stands at the top of your wish list,

Inflicting a pain on a victim’s essential,

You’ll need a witness, so none of the good stuff’s missed,

A bitter inversion that’s ‘them referential’,

We get it, the victim is inconsequential,


Maybe Invective is your way to bring laughter,

You’re out to discredit, someone, or thing, brought down,

The public, in general, the listeners you’re after,

Want direct statements, like directions into town,

Bordering on a brutal or abusive clown,


Don’t forget Irony, plenty of mirth power,

Hiding away in exclusiveness’ high chair,

An inner-circle from the same ivory tower,

Very mysterious for those who are not there,

A two-tier joke where neither about either care,


And, of course, Cynicism, well worth attention,

Look for the smug and the ones that self-justify,

Then, to the respectable, be sure to mention

An expose of the former’s nakedness by

Sneering, mocking, of humanity drain us dry,


Finally, Sardonic fun, at this we’re quite good,

We’re looking here at self-relief, if I may say

And being almost as someone on there own would,

You wallow in pessimism, all is dismay

And God knows how you get to the end of the day,


What a palaver, deciding on which way to go,

With different reasons for playing a certain part,

A range of vast provinces, each a world to know,

We all laugh; we don’t all share funny in the heart,

So the mastership of methods is where I’ll start,

Or maybe not.

Bridget Christie: An Ungrateful Woman @sohotheatre

Five minutes before the show starts, I am at the bar for the ritual pre-gig decanting of beer into scratchy plastic cup. “You can take your glass into the theatre, no problem” the bartender says. As I gather my drink and coat, she asks “Bridget Christie?” I nod. She gives me the most sincere thumbs-up I’ve seen since the 90s.

Following 2013’s Edinburgh Award-winning A Bic for Her, Christie’s star has been very much in the ascendant. I was lucky enough to see an early version of An Ungrateful Woman before this year’s festival. That night, Christie was frenetic, forgetful, significantly over-time, but still wonderfully engaging. Three months later, the set is polished and pithy. If anything,  a little longer would be better. Another quarter-hour inside Bridget’s inspiringly skewed world of inconsiderate bookshop farters and limpet-crotched supermodels would still leave an audience wanting more.

The show opens with an extended riff on the interviewer who, after her 2013 Edinburgh success, asked what her next show would be about, now she’d ‘done feminism’. It ends with a righteous Christie, patiently explaining to the audition panel for a yoghurt advert how their script facilitates rape-culture. Depressingly it seems that 21st century sexism is a veritable goldmine of funny/sad observation, certainly enough to merit a second hour of stand-up and delightfully a second series of Radio 4’s Minds the Gap airing this coming January.

Christie comprehensively rubbishes the idea that feminism was last year’s story, taking in swipes at Nigel Farage (a particularly committed comedy performance, “he never breaks character”), a grudging acknowledgement that Michael Gove might actually have done the right thing, once (but then ruined it), and a pitch perfect dissection of Russell Brand’s emptily-verbose brand of messianic laddishness.

While retaining the silliness and play-acting from earlier shows, Christie is also increasingly self-reflexive in her comedy. In a bit about Steve Davis, she acknowledges that his supposedly sexist comment was taken out of context, but still gets away with a mime of him playing snooker with his penis. Later she implores the audience to reject plastic surgery and cherish the uniqueness of their vaginas, “like snowflakes made of gammon”.

There are ideas to spare here. Presentation can feel a little rushed even. Hopefully some of the jokes will get a bit more room to breathe in the radio series. The quick-fire approach pays dividends when it comes to more challenging material, however. A passage imagining a girl cheering for ‘good old British sexism’ as she is followed home by a leering gang of men treads the line between ridiculous and unbearable. And I’d struggle to think of another stand-up who could (respectfully) discuss FGM without fatally puncturing the mood.

In a pleasing early gag, Christie jokes that she was frustrated at A Bic for Her’s success, as she was hoping for a flop so she could retire and live off her husband. On the evidence of this accomplished set, that seems less likely than ever.

Bridget Christie is appearing downstairs at the  Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London, W1D 3NE on the following dates:

Mon 3 Nov – Fri 21 Nov. Fri 2 – Sat 10 & Mon 19 – Sat 24 Jan, 9.30pm

Tickets can be booked via the Soho Theatre website