Everyone is at the Gilded Balloon to catch a glimpse of Alistair Campbell’s daughter, and Grace by name - but not by nature - gives us everything we want and so much more. This fast paced hour of passionate politics, fiesty feminism and hearty humour allows Grace Campbell to step out from behind the merit of her dad, as a massive personality in her own right.
A fast paced hour of passionate politics, fiesty feminism and hearty humour
Grace gifts us with a skilful blending of what the audience expects – a plethora of tales of Alistair and Tony – with her experience of being present at the birth, rise and success of New Labour and most importantly who the heck Grace is herself. We are treated to photographs of junior Grace hanging out with the Putins; in her mother’s arms as Blair becomes PM; and the photograph of her smoking a spliff which could have taken her father down at the prime of his career. The persona Grace presents drips in daddy issues – she’s a self confessed drug taking, bed-wetting bully who resents that Tony Blair stole the attentions of her father for the majority of her childhood. However Grace delivers her stories with such perverse, provocative delight that we can’t help but indulge her.
The pin drop moment is delivered as Grace poses a curiosity to the audience as to who her mother is. In a political landscape where one would assume any political leanings Grace has have been inspired by her father’s career, rather it’s her mother who is her true inspiration. And ironically, despite the list of reasons Grace comes up with for deciding never to go into politics, these are conversely all the reasons she should. She’s relatable, passionate and has something important to say about the world. Using her privilege to achieve the utopia she believes in, is the basis for most career politicians. Come on, ‘Labia Party’ – let's fly that pink flag high!
Grace Campbell hits us between the eyes with constant bullets of quick fire quips, but these seem oddly paradoxical to the political element of the show. It’s almost like she’s constantly gauging what our reactions will be, and this makes some of the skits appear a bit clunky and forced. Opening with the gag about fanny farting her boyfriend’s penis out her vagina seems... out of place with the rest of the show. And her love of masturbation, whilst a reclamation of female sexual pleasure, seems motivated by shock factor rather than any genuine deeper thematic purpose.
This is absolutely a worthwhile hour of comedy. Grace Campbell is thought provoking, intelligent and very funny. Some finesse around the tone will elevate this performance substantially.