Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2017: Gillian English Is A Bitter Shrew

Gillian English is bold, brassy and will find out a coward or patsy in seconds with her bullet-stare in her stand up show A Bitter Shrew.

The successful Canadian comedian unleashes her killer lines like a tornado. Dating, the female anatomy, sex, gender relations and ex-boyfriends are her currency in this show which shoots down patriarchal notions at five paces. Before you know it, the hour’s up and now you wanna go hang with her at a bar and hear the Z-rated stories.

The lady with a whiplash tongue doesn’t suffer fools or f**ked up cultural values. She has an agenda. To have a good time. To enjoy her body. To meet new people, and to take men to bed for entertainment. She’s not ashamed of being a pleasure-fiend.

English openly declares ‘I tend to crush the egos of men…’ as well as ‘I’m a slut. I get more than my fair share of one-night stands’. (Many of which she uses to catalogue male types, to our edification and delight.)

Shooting down masculinist shaming is central to her thesis and her feminist bawdry has the audience guffawing knowingly. We’ve all dated dickheads. She joins in, too, making her delivery feel very spontaneous. When she talks, it’s like your bf is regaling you with horror stories she’s just escaped from!

Gillian always has a twinkle in her eye and tongue slightly tucked left, so don’t think this is a bitter brew. It’s very life-affirming. She enjoys herself too much to be despondent. Her story arc and script are so cleverly crafted, the men in the audience laughed just as loud.

You are watching a pro at the top of her game. Gillian English’s rich use of language and superior insight into the workings of humans delights as a change from the usual comedic fare of the depressed male standup.

– Sarah
Sarah W. is a dance-trained theatre lover with a flair for the bold and non-traditional performance platforms. On the street or in the box seat, she looks for quality works that push the envelope.

Gillian English Is A Bitter Shrew runs 10-23 April, 9pm (55mins) at The Imperial Hotel. Purchase tickets now. The venue is accessible.

Read The Plus Ones’ guide to MICF 2017, and visit often to see all our reviews.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Talent Artist Management.
Image credit: Melbourne International Comedy Festival.