Wednesday & Thursday at the Fringe

I only went to one show on Wednesday as ordinary life intervened to prevent me earlier in the day.

It was sort of worth it to queue up for Keen and Khan Starstruck at the Voodoo Rooms, but only sort of.  Helen Keen once again was a natural funny woman while Sofia Khan gave a talk on ten things you didn't know about NASA.

Dr Khan worked very hard to make a case for her interestingness, but really overdid the it trying to convince her audience that she was a serious and respected scientist. Why? I don't know, because no one was in any way going to accuse her of being a fraud. We are perfectly capable of believing that a young woman can have brains and academic success without having it hammered home for an hour. 

It all started off very amusing, but got tired very quickly. More Helen Keen and more science, but perhaps Sofia Khan needs to go with her admission that she is not an entertainer and stick to building her (deservedly, I'm sure) glittering career in astrophysics.

On Thursday as if in compensation for the weather, I struck lucky with all three shows I went to.

Susan Murray, the Glottal Stops Here provided an excellent hour's drying off from the thunderous rain. Her theme was accents and her ability shone whether in Glaswegian, Cockney or her native Black Country. 
If you've never had a Kipper Tie with two sugars then you've never had a cup of tea in the Black Country. Susan was raised in the West Midlands by her Scottish family. She has the Glaswegian attitude, which doesn't match her Brummie drawl. This Brumwegian (or Glummie) has been badly dubbed all her life! Think Frankie Boyle meets Julie Walters.
The quote above is pretty accurate for once.

Next, an absolute highlight of my fringe experience so far was Rainer Hersch's Victor Borge. I can only dimly recall Victor Borge he being more of my Grandmother's generation than even my parent's, but I remember enough to know that he was a great entertainer.  So I didn't recognise the famous set pieces such as the punctuation sketch, but clearly this audience of a certain age were familiar with it all and wallowed gloriously in nostalgia.  I merely enjoyed the act and the audience's enjoyment of it; all very happy.

The evening ended with the hideously underused, under-recognised and generally talented Kate Smurthwaite with her News at Kate in the Voodoo Rooms. 

What I cannot understand is why with comics of the calibre of Kate Smurthwaite and Susan Murray and Helen Keen and all the other funny women around, we are continually subjected to banal, sexist, unoriginal and frequently offensive male comics dominating TV programmes all week long. And without going into the full "I pay my licence fee too" rigmarole, it's undeniable, I and my demographic are completely failed by programme producers who play it safe with the same old faces on every panel game and sketch show.

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