Katherine Ryan: Glam Role Model, Stand V, comedy review

Edinburgh Festival 2014: Comedienne riffs to great effect on serious subjects of the day

Veronica Lee
Friday 01 August 2014 11:21
Comments
Katherine Ryan performs at Edinburgh
Katherine Ryan performs at Edinburgh

Although Katherine Ryan has been an Edinburgh regular for some years, recent television exposure has brought the quick-witted comic acclaim as someone who more than holds her own in the bearpit atmosphere of panel shows. She also recently supported the American comic and broadcaster Chelsea Handler, making a much anticipated UK debut at the London Palladium, and royally stole her thunder with a storming set.

Ryan’s appearance can be deceptive; while she starts by talking about being a single mom to a cute five-year-old daughter, we’re quickly into some of nicely filthy material about sex and relationships – “I shot her out of my vag!” – and Glam Role Model is an avowedly feminist show.

Much of it is about her ex-partner, who cheated on the London-based Canadian with a glamour model, but the acerbity is leavened with a playfulness; she has a nicely enacted routine - complete with a spot-on impersonation - about getting into a war of words with the former N-Dubz singer Tulisa Contostavlos on a TV show and then having to deal with the aftermath on social media as the star's fans expressed their faux outrage. “Why is it all threats against women on Twitter have to be rapey?' Ryan asks drily.

She riffs to great effect on serious subjects of the day – our adoration of celebrity, the Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram, the Gaza crisis – making some waspish but subtle asides. She tells us a Jewish pal had disagreed with her support for Palestinians, so she unfriended her on Facebook - asking if that was a disproportionate response.

Ryan frequently skirts with bad taste, and some in the room found her musing about a visit to an abortion clinic rather out there. But while this subject has shock value for some, ultimately it’s used to make a more serious point - and it’s a brave comic who delivers the kind of very personal material that could alienate half her audience.

The final segment neatly draws together the show’s themes and in it Ryan demonstrates why Beyoncé is a real heroine to many women. She does it through the medium of dance – dread words in any other context, but here meaning an energetic rendition of Beyoncé’s distinctive version of twerking. For those in the first few rows, it must be an education.

Katherine Ryan: Glam Role Model is at Stand V until 10 August

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in