“Euchhh… White People!”

Harriet Kemsley (circa 2015)It isn’t very often that a name comedian visits our tiny, end-of-the-line town, so God bless “TV’s Katherine Ryan” for gracing us with her dazzling presence, along with up-and-coming support act Harriet Kemsley. Our volunteer-run pavilion theatre was jam-packed for the event, and it was comforting to be surrounded by so many appreciative comedy fans of all ages (and genders).

It was a very cold and rainy night outside, so Kemsley had the unenviable task of warming up a chilly/soggy audience… but she braved the lukewarm room, and her cheery charm soon won everyone over, as she delivered gags-aplenty about working for the NHS, the perils of falling in love, and her mother’s increasingly bizarre insistence that Santa personally selected all of her Xmas presents. There was also a rather sweet moment during her sign-off when she started to re-state her name, then remembered that it was emblazoned across the backdrop in huge brightly-lit letters! Bless. Oh, and she does a very good “manic laugh” too, which is always a plus in my book. Definitely someone to keep an eye on in the future…

Harriet Kemsley and Katherine Ryan live and blurry (23/1/16)After a brief interval, and without any introduction whatsoever, Ryan strode onto the stage wearing a pair of killer stilettos, gorgeous black ensemble, large sparkly necklace, and full make-up… which easily assured her status as the most glamorous woman I’ve ever set eyes on in this town. I tried to take some snaps of both comics with my new (used) digital camera, but haven’t quite figured out how to use it properly yet, so they all came out very shaky/blurry. In fact, I spent so long trying to get a decent shot of Ryan that an usher tapped me on the shoulder and told me to put my camera away… just moments before the lady herself declared that she didn’t care about the theatre’s rules, and that she was happy for people to text and take photos throughout her set! Still, I didn’t want to spend the whole night mucking around with my camera, so I should be grateful for the reminder to focus on the live human being on-stage in front of me, rather than the fuzzy version on my LCD screen!

An empty stage waiting to be owned by Katherine Ryan (23/1/16)I don’t want to spoil (or misquote) all of Ryan’s jokes, but suffice to say that her Kathbum show is an accomplished, crowd-pleasing combination of vicious celebrity satire and endearing anecdotes about her miserable Canadian childhood and proud single-motherhood, littered with strong swears, clever call-backs, and cute puns (my fave being when she noted that her hometown of Sarnia “sounded like Narnia, but with more sandwiches”!). I’ll admit that before last night I only really knew Ryan from her (very funny) appearances on comedy panel shows, but this was such a sophisticated and skilfully delivered show, she’s leapt way up in my estimations and is now my No. 1 fave British stand-up. She absolutely owned the stage, and had the audience roaring with laughter… or cringing and awww-ing where appropriate. I know this sounds like a cliché metaphor, but when I went to bed last night my sides were still literally aching from laughing so hard!

Katherine Ryan a la "Kathbum" (2015)If she’d had a merchandise stall out in the foyer, I would’ve gladly bought as many goodies as I could afford… but she didn’t, and there don’t seem to be any available online either! Ryan doesn’t even have a DVD out, which seems like a crime against comedy to me… hopefully this extensive nation-wide tour will help to cement her reputation, and raise her profile in time for an Xmas splurge…? Either way, if you get the chance to see her at a venue near you, I highly recommend snapping up tickets ASAP… assuming there are any left, obviously…

Note: I’ve come to realise that I’m actually a pretty awful audience-member for live comedy… in the sense that I’m too insecure/introverted to shout out when the comedian asks general questions, and have a near-silent laugh… so, I feel kinda guilty that I wasn’t giving anything back, beyond an occasional burst of applause. I just hope they could feel my amusement and enthusiasm on an unconscious/subliminal level…? Probably not… so on the off-chance Ryan does ever read this, I’d like her to know that I’d be more than happy to pop around and tell her she has “too many cats”, any day of the week…

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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1 Response to “Euchhh… White People!”

  1. Pingback: KathBum: The Troubling | Valet of the UltraVixens

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