So let's hear it for the pop diva who loves dinosaurs

 

It’s a bold performer who takes on Katy Perry at her own game but that is what Bryony Kimmings does in her latest show. And, even bolder, she does it with the help of her 11-year old niece, Taylor. Credible Likeable Superstar Rolemodel, a five-star hit at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, is a show about Kimmings’ search for a modern heroine. Not an oversexed pop poppet, not a Disney heroine, but a credible, likeable superstar to inspire young girls.

“I was teaching a group of 10-year old girls and I asked them what they wanted to be when they were older. The ringleader said that she wanted to be on The Only Way is Essex. Then she pretended to have a WAG handbag and a tiny dog and started wiggling her hips. And all the other girls copied,” says Kimmings. “I hadn’t really thought before that the things we take to be trash or light entertainment are actually affecting young girls and their aspirations in a really direct way.”

It was enough to set Kimmings, 33, writing and in her niece Taylor, then nine, she had the perfect foil. The pair developed and perform the show together, dancing provocatively to Jesse J and Katy Perry, taking on female stereotypes with baseball bats and eventually creating an alternative role model, Catherine Bennett, a popstar who wears glasses, likes tuna pasta and knows about dinosaurs.  

If that sounds a bit cute, it isn’t. This is very much a show for grown-ups - sparky, funny and sad, a ballsy, witty protest against the hyper-sexualisation of tweens, the commodification of modern life and the horrors of Google. At one point, Kimmings “gouges” Taylor’s eyes out so she can no longer surf the internet.  “The message is for us to not just accept that the world is going this way - that we are constantly being sold things and sex is being used to sell them”, says Kimmings. “Children are manipulated into becoming capitalists at a very young age and are being made to feel insecure by the sexual imagery they see everywhere.”

Like Bridget Christie’s award-winning show A Bic for Her, Kimmings’s show taps into a prevailing feminist mood in comedy. Since last summer Credible… has toured the country and Australia. Her alter-ego Catherine Bennett has her own show schedule, having played Latitude festival, the Southbank Centre and visited 300 schools in the last 18 months. A “feminist, mindblowing” children’s show for CBBC is possibly in the pipeline for her too.

Credible… will play its final dates this summer. After that, Taylor will go to secondary school. “She says wants to be a midwife, not a performer”, says Kimmings. “But she’s a feminist and that’s the main thing.” Kimmings is now writing a play about rape culture for Soho Theatre and will show a work in progress at Edinburgh’s Forest Fringe in August. “I’ve made it with my partner, who is not a performer. It’s about men’s mental health, a comedy show about depression.” Well if anyone can make it work, Kimmings can.  

MAC, Birmingham, tonight; Soho Theatre, London, 24 to 28 June; Brighton Dome, 3 July (www.bryonykimmings.com)

Silent comedy

He has lived with being the man behind the fast-talking Vicky yeah-but-no-but-yeah Pollard for years, now Matt Lucas is looking for a little peace and quiet. A lot, in fact. His new six-part sitcom, Pompidou, began shooting this week and is remarkable for featuring no dialogue.

Lucas stars as Pompidou, an elderly, eccentric aristocrat who has fallen on hard times. Alex MacQueen plays his loyal butler Hove, and, as with all successful silent comedies (see The Artist) there will be a dog, called Marion.

Silent comedy is back in fashion. Earlier this year, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton made one episode of their superlative storytelling series Inside No. 9 a wordless heist comedy and it received the warmest praise. Before that, the last silent sitcom to be commissioned for television was Mr Bean.

Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam