Feminism for Chaps

Feminism For Chaps is a divisive title. For some it is an attraction, for others it is something to steer well clear of. The show however is performed with such consideration and insight that it could appeal to almost anybody. Watts opens with an old routine, before immediately disowning it because of its apparent sexism. This change of heart stems from a Chortle review he received six years ago calling him out on his misogyny, his marriage to prominent feminist and journalist Tanya Gold and, most importantly, the arrival of his new baby. Watts had never really thought about feminism, preferring to simply treat women how they preferred to be treated, but having encountered gendered patronisation - which, as he explains, actually reveals a hidden misogyny - in becoming a father, he realised quite how bizarre phenomenon it is.

It is no mean feat to write a humorous show about such an important and stereotypically dour subject matter, but Watts has achieved it with good jokes, good points and goodwill.

'Sorry to any women in the audience', he states at the beginning of the show, 'but I have nothing for you'. Watts understand full well he has no particular authority to talk about feminism, and this self-deprecation allows him to explain the concepts to men more clearly - which is the point of the show. He makes a good job of it too, walking a line that simultaneously ridicules the more unhelpful and destructive extremes of feminism, and freely admits the problems caused by the male sex. The way to solve the age-old question 'what do women want?' he explains, is to ask them.

The show is consistently funny too, with an exasperated but friendly delivery that conveys problems involved with trying to do the right thing when you don't really understand what it is that you are doing wrong. Some of the jokes feel a little obvious, but this helps balance out the potentially weighty subject matter. It is no mean feat to write a humorous show about such an important and stereotypically dour subject matter, but Watts has achieved it with good jokes, good points and goodwill. Gender politics just got fun. 

Reviews by Ed Barnes

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Performances

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The Blurb

This is a show about Feminism. For chaps. Andrew Watts is an ‘exquisitely funny’ (Time Out) comedian, but he didn't realise he was a feminist ... until now. Join him as he explores, with his trademark ‘intelligent wit’ (Scotsman), how chaps like him can change the world. ‘An enticing blend of honest storytelling and dark humour’ (Independent on Sunday). ‘Stand-up laced with a cerebral cutting-edge’ **** (ThreeWeeks). As seen on ITV's Stand-Up Hero and Comedy Central's The World Stands Up.

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