FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2020 | Kate Smurthwaite: BITCH | 5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

This bitch is not funny

Hey, bitch shut the hell up

Kate is an ugly unfunny bitch

These are some of the tamer examples of the times UK comedian Kate Smurthwaite has been called a bitch on the internet. The show starts with a slideshow of examples from her YouTube comments section – all of them contain the word ‘bitch’ and vary from just the word to horrible threats and sentiments. Each comment is up for 4 seconds. The presentation goes for 25 minutes. Smurthwaite takes it all in stride – encouraging the audience to laugh at the sheer ridiculous nature of these posts, yet she highlights the grim reality of being a woman who speaks her mind in the public sphere. Is Bitch a history of the derogatory term or a reclaiming? Well, yes, it’s both of those things – so every time someone calls Smurthwaite a bitch online, they’re now just fuelling her creativity!

Smurthwaite is a political comedian – feminism, polyamory, LGBTQI+ representation, liberalism are all issues that take pride of place in her comedy. She proves herself over and over again that politics can be funny – in fact, parody is an effective tool in disseminating information. By highlighting the way men and women are treated differently in a hilarious sketch, comedians raise critical awareness. This show tackles the absurdity of the word bitch and how it has become weaponised – but most importantly, how women can claim it back. Smurthwaite reflects on her own understanding of the word – from the first time her father casually called her one in a matter-of-fact way, to her own use of the word in rap music. Her recollections and reflections are more like musings as Smurthwaite has that infectious personality that makes you nod in agreement, rather than laugh out loud.

There are plenty of laugh out loud moments, though, Smurthwaite chats so casually with her audience that it’s sometimes easy to forget you’re watching a stand-up act! She is personable and friendly, shares her embarrassing childhood moments complete with hilarious visual pictures and tells funny dating stories as if you were just all hanging out with her at the pub. After you decide you like her, she then drops the bombshell – Kate Smurthwaite doesn’t agree with likeable people. In fact, she considers likeability to be the crux of double standards between men and women. Once again, you’ll be clicking your fingers in agreement and getting ready to shout ‘amen’ with every point made. Smurthwaite has a sharp political mind. She takes issues that are serious and dissects them in all their comedy glory, and she isn’t afraid to lean in to her daggy side either. With a nod to her dorky inner self, Smurthwaite analyses her jokes and their response, sports an epic costume change, and raps with the maddest skills known to (wo)man! And did I mention she’s funny?!


WHEN: 31st January – 16th February 2020 | 5:00pm & 8:00pm


INFO: Pricing $20 – $25 | Duration 60m | Suitability M | Occasional Coarse Language, Sexual References | COMEDY


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