Ban This Filth!

Alan Bissett is the writer and performer of Ban This Filth!, whose content tackles the issues of contemporary feminism so recently receiving the national spotlight, and asking questions on pornography, sex, censorship and empathy from either side of the gender divide.

Bissett begins by detailing his relationship with women, and their prominence in shaping his career as both a theatre-maker and as a successful author (Bissett has published four novels in addition to his performance work). The show frequently returns to his youth, detailing his first kiss, the extreme and comedic methods he took to attract the opposite sex as a teenager, and his unearthing of internet pornography whilst at university. These anecdotes are amusing and humorous, with Bissett being bright and confident as he recounts a past that will be familiar to most. Unfortunately, whilst largely brilliant, such anecdotes of the everyday can sometime prove to the detriment of Ban This Filth!, as familiarity falls into the inane, despite Bissett being a down-to-earth and erudite performer.

Throughout the performance, Bissett draws on the writing of radical feminist Andrea Dworkin. Dworkin had a firm belief that pornography constituted an act of violence against women and was strongly linked to rape and sexual aggression in males. Repeatedly, Bissett walks stage-left and stands behind a podium to read from a testimony Dworkin gave before an Attorney General on the subject in 1986. Performing the visceral, explicit words of Dworkin in character, Bissett captures the attention of his audience through raw emotion. The speech proves an effective and arresting counterpoint to Bissett’s own ideas on feminism, which are always elegantly expressed.

Bissett is clearly a man who knows how to tell a story, employing a succinct, intelligent and engaging approach. Ban This Filth! reaches a climax when Bissett questions his own perspective as a male feminist. Here he combines humour with hard-hitting and visceral feminist opinions which neither agree with his own initial arguments, nor the philosophy of Andrea Dworkin. It forces the audience to reassess its own relationship with pornography and ongoing feminist debate. These questions are important, and Bissett expresses them with a sharp and witty intellect.

Reviews by Steven Fraser

Traverse Theatre

The Garden

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Am I Dead Yet?

★★★★
C venues - C

Mwathirika

★★★
Sweet Grassmarket

The Wild Man of Orford

★★★
Institut français d'Ecosse

L'Enfant qui...

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Fake It 'til You Make It

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

Andrea Dworkin: radical feminist. Alan Bissett: man. Examining porn culture, Bissett performs as himself, and one of the most controversial women in history. 'Brilliant stuff … the audience were shouting with laughter’ **** (Scotsman on The Moira Monologues).

Most Popular See More

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £46.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets