Kate Smurthwaite is a really likable, erudite comedian - a breath of fresh air to a comedy world saturated with ironic self-absorption and jokes about men and women’s supposedly infinite differences. This show discusses her many appearances as a TV and radio pundit and the perils and pitfalls of being an opinionated intelligent woman.
Kate Smurthwaite is a really likable, erudite comedian - a breath of fresh air to a comedy world saturated with ironic self-absorption and jokes about men and women’s supposedly infinite differences.
My Professional Opinion tackles everything from which Spice Girl is best, to Smurthwaite’s experiences on Question Time and the death threats that come with being a ‘leftist cock-womble’ (her trending hashtag after her QT appearance and, she tells the audience gleefully, the name of her new show). It also boasts some nice structural flourishes, like Smurthwaite’s discussion of Wikipedia’s explanation of ‘How to have an opinion’ (later amusingly revealed to be by her), each aspect having a story or moment to illustrate it.
The end of the show sees Smurthwaite re-enact her tête-à-tête on ITV’s This Morning with Conservative MP and all-round baddie Nadine Dorries, proponent of many attacks on the status of abortion laws in the UK. Smurthwaite, as Vice Chair for Abortion Rights UK, is well-versed in the arguments for increased awareness and access to abortions, and so delivers an excellent monologue reeling off the multitudinous arguments against Dorries’ more simplistic, ‘because God said so’ line. This portion was genuinely entertaining and demonstrated Smurthwaite’s ability to articulate a quick, powerful argument. Her presentation of the argument, by channeling ‘Scouser’ Nadine Dorries in a blond wig, coupled with a parody of herself (as screaming leftist banshee through a megaphone), was less successful purely because the wig-change affected the pacing of an otherwise quick-fire show.
Smurhwaite is a genuinely interesting and intelligent person. The reasoning behind her increased appearances in the media, (where she is fast becoming ‘an expert on everything’) is illustrated by her confident and lively manner on stage. I look forward to catching her next show.