A portacabin in Edinburgh during the Fringe can feel a world away from the northern working men’s clubs Kiri Pritchard-McLean is accustomed to playing. However, with some fancy tinsel curtains and a wad of filthy jokes, it feels like we could be in one of those clubs, only without all the hen parties and sexist idiots. Pritchard-McLean’s debut Fringe hour examines the sexism that is deep-rooted on the comedy circuit, and questions why some people still refuse to believe that women can be funny.
Pritchard-McLean tackles these subjects in a way that isn’t just hilarious, but also scientifically accurate. Fed up of being told she’s bullshitting whenever she talks about sexism in comedy, she has come to Edinburgh armed with scientific study data related to gender stereotypes and humour. And, to this nerd’s delight, there’s even footnotes. It’s not all intellectual, though; there’s a plethora of knob and fanny gags too.
The bulk of the show is taken from Pritchard-McLean’s own experiences in life and on the circuit. These stories are told with an engaging warmth, even when the show occasionally stumbles on the tricky subject matter that’s maybe just too vast for one hour. Still, it’s an hour that’s funny, clever, vulgar and insightful all at once. Deserves to be seen by more than a portacabins’ worth of punters.
★★★★ (and a half)