Luisa Omielan gave us an hour and a half of hilarious, high energy stand up about depression, feminism and sex. I especially loved her material on depression - "Why do I know what a thigh gap is but I don't know that one in four people have felt depressed just like me? That on a full bus, odds are that the person sitting next to me has felt just as bleak and isolated as I have. That would make me feel less lonely!" Her use of physical comedy was also excellent, from dancing as we came in, stripping down to her pants to run around the room, miming trying to force herself to cry to a triumphant conclusive stage dive.
As is clear from the title, this is an unapologetically female show - about 75% of the audience were women. I go to see a lot of stand up and this NEVER happens, even with other female comedians - comedy is still seen as such a male sphere. It was refreshing to go to a gig and feel like part of the gang, like I'm being spoken to directly. Having said that, I brought a boy along and he loved it too.
What I liked most about this show was its range. The whole show is a mixture of swagger and vulnerability, intelligent observation and crudeness. This is reflected in the all-encompassing nature of Omielan's politics. Her sensible, compassionate approach is not interested in telling women that they should feel bad about themselves, that they're doing something wrong. She says that a woman can enjoy sex, she can be actively looking for a relationship, and she can find work the most fulfilling thing in her life - that is all common within the realm of female experience. You can be super sad that you were dumped at the same time as being absolutely determined to make the most of your career and that's not a contradiction.
This all sounds like it should be obvious - should be what all people think and say all the time! But it's not. As Omielan points out in her hilariously outraged routine about being interviewed by a Hollywood manager, people are waiting around every corner to call you too fat, too old, to try to make you feel bad about yourself. The only way to survive is to refuse to let them. Being spoken to like that was genuinely empowering. I left with more than the feeling of it being a great night - by the end of the show I'd made a resolution to really go for what I want next year, and trust myself more. So many thanks to Luisa for that. No one cares about losing weight after they've seen your show, babes.