Bridget Christie is currently touring her latest show A Book For Her across the UK in conjunction with her debut novel of the same name. The catalyst for this show is the relatively recent launch of a BIC pen specifically designed for women, named A Bic For Her, which Christie based her 2013 show around. Unfortunately for society, though perhaps fortunately for fans of the wrath of Bridget Christie, not a lot has changed in more recent years.
Gender inequality is still clearly a distressingly vast problem despite recent minor victories such as the abolishment of the tampon tax. But the problem is slowly moving and as a result; so is Christie’s comedy. Feminist issues still hold an integral part of this latest show but it feels as though there is a branching out of comedic focus. Christie’s latest hour feels more personal than her previous two shows, with a stronger autobiographical element to match the tone of her book, with the comedian often reading directly from her own copy on stage.
Christie’s absurdist roots still form the basis of her comedic insight and you don’t have to look too closely to observe them. In fact, these surrealist, almost-slapstick routines are all the more pleasing within this new show as they aid the breaking down of the heavier, political material. Recounting her 2010 show A Ant allows the comic to revisit her surreal character-comedy foundations, much to my delight, though she frequently has to express, “I’ve not gone mad,” to a quiet but appreciative audience. Beginning her show so unassumingly, with such quiet self-assuredness, it is quite remarkable to reflect on the development of Christie’s material over the hour.
Bridget skilfully builds layers of irony, to extents where the thought of audience members misunderstanding the message concerns her so much that she needs to check all in the room are on board. Although dampening the effect of her sarcasm to some extent, a great deal of self-awareness is shown as a result. Perhaps there is a need to cover her own back, as an outspoken political comic, and this quality is endearing, as much as it is disheartening that there are people who may misinterpret. Christie also has a talent for manipulating timing, cleverly sneaking a great deal of important statistics into her routines and allowing their inclusion to become increasingly prominent as the material progresses.
Let us not forget that Bridget Christie is an ever-developing performer, appearing to change the focus of her comedy to fit the time of writing, and this is a hugely admirable trait in an act, reducing the possibility of any stagnancy. Yes, feminism is a greatly talked-about topic, and it can get boring to have to keep covering old ground as the issues refuse to be resolved, but it is to Christie’s credit that this is not her first show with the issue of inequality at its core, and we are yet to get bored. Bridget Christie is a re-inventor, an innovator and voice of absolute sanity. And she and I would like to have it noted that we both look quite like Oliver Cromwell.