Katherine Ryan: Kathbum

Katherine Ryan makes it clear from the moment she wanders onto the stage and discusses the logic behind R&B song Smell Yo Dick that she doesn't give a rat's ass what you think. She's very matter of fact about her more controversial material and it's this devil may care attitude that makes her such a joy to watch.

There's not a single joke she tells that doesn't land exactly where she wants it

The subject material of Ryan's set varies between the everyday of her life growing up in the backwaters of Canada, to her take on recent scandals in the press. Covering some riskier subjects is no sweat to Ryan and her approach to the Bill Cosby allegations is carefully thought out, calling out the perpetrator and not the victims. Ryan has a brilliant ability to make her audience laugh raucously over more taboo topics, and this is a brilliant strength in her stand up.

The light is also turned on herself several times, and there's an excellent segment of audience interaction where Ryan responds to her Twitter trolls following a clip of her being found out of context abroad. Ryan has a natural indifference to criticism (kind of makes me wonder why I'm writing this) and in not caring about her persona the emphasis is rightly on the punch lines. There's not a single joke she tells that doesn't land exactly where she wants it, and this complete mastery of the set is complemented nicely by the more tender moments of sisterly love in the show.

The show becomes delightfully tender at the end, with Ryan delivering a speech full of heart that calls back brilliantly to a segment of the show which nobody sees coming. It's a carefully put together set which wraps up fantastically at the end, and leaves plenty of room for Ryan to maintain her hard exterior whilst also offering some heart warming moments. She's a complete riot and a must see.

Reviews by Louise Jones

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The Blurb

The star of Live at the Apollo, QI and The Jonathan Ross Show, the razor sharp and hilariously funny Canadian returns to the Festival. Direct from a complete sell-out national tour throughout the UK and Australia, Katherine premieres her eagerly awaited brand new show. Put this at the top of your must-see list for this year’s Fringe. ‘Young, smart and acridly funny’ (Sunday Times). ‘Thoughtful, funny and just twisted enough’ (Times). ‘Warped wit … striking presence … killer lines … calm confidence’ (Scotsman). **** (Fest). **** (Independent). **** (Chortle.co.uk).