Catriona Knox: Adorable Deplorable

Behind every great man stands a great woman. And behind some not-so-great men, lurk some absolutely terrible – but curiously admirable - women. This is essentially the hook for Knox’ hour of character comedy, as she introduces us to the not-quite-as-famous partners of politicians and world leaders. In one case, the rules are not exactly bent, but folded slightly so that we get to meet the ‘First Man’ of today’s British politics.

Knox rattles through the hour with a considerable amount of energy and breathlessness, being equal parts clown and sage.

As is somewhat tradition in a Catriona Knox show, there are plenty of opportunities for audience members to get involved, but there’s no need for anyone nervous to get overly anxious, since – as is also near tradition – Knox spends the first few minutes as the audience finds their seats bounding energetically to pumping music, during which we can assume she is carefully scoping out potential friends to play with.

Knox is in absolute command of her characters, throwing away witty one-liners with confidence. While the names of every single persona may not be immediately familiar to everyone, it’s fair to say that if you’re the sort of person who gets vaguely guilty about ignoring the pleas for donations at the end of Guardian articles, there is plenty here to appeal. We get to meet the wives (or in one case, ex-wife) of some of the most ridiculous figures in the current climate, and in another, vitally important scene, the real message behind yoga sessions is revealed. While in real life these women can be derided (and often are, online) and accused of having made their own bed in which they now have to lie, Knox – mostly down to her sheer infectious charisma – infuses all her characters with charm and wit.

Knox rattles through the hour with a considerable amount of energy and breathlessness, being equal parts clown and sage. All manner of scenarios are presented, from a massage table to a first kiss on the dance floor. Despite the tight structure, Knox still allows her performance to be loose enough to be genuinely surprised – and delighted – by an unexpected audience reaction.

The hour culminates in a rousing call to arms – a kind of ‘Deeds, not words’ declaration about four hundred years too early from a woman ahead of her time. It’s a suitable end to the show, sending the audience back out into the busy throngs of the Fringe, secure in the knowledge that every one of them can change the world.

Reviews by Andrew Allen

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The Blurb

Some men have brought us to the brink of apocalypse. Now meet their wives. For too long they've been kept in the shadows. For too long they've been just a piece of lean meat on the arm of a sociopath. Well, not any more, Edinburgh. For one hour only, open your earholes and hear them speak! 'Every hour should be this much fun' ***** (ThreeWeeks). 'A formidable comic powerhouse' **** ( 'The next Joyce Grenfell' (Spectator). 'One of the UK's best' ***** (New Current). 'Comedy gold' **** (List). **** (Herald).