Maureen Younger: The Outsider - Free Show

Maureen Younger presents a solo stand-up show, as part of the Scottish Comedy Festival, which is based around her view of herself as an outsider, both on the comedy circuit and generally in society. While her show is very well received and many of her jokes raucously funny, you may be forgiven for thinking that she is a bit of a one-trick pony.

Younger interacts constantly with her audience, remembering names and places of origin and using them in her act. She is obviously a very well-travelled woman and is able to integrate members of the audience from all four corners of the world, with her observations on Australian, German, or French culture.

A flaw of Younger's act, which interferes with the comedy at times, is that people, and especially British people, have grown incredibly accustomed to 'outsiders' in comedy – women, black people, homosexuals, the Celts – basing their acts solely on the fact that they are black, or gay, or happen to have a vagina. Maureen's focus on jokes which are derived entirely from stereotypes – ‘I'm Scottish, and therefore am cheap and drunk and aggressive’ and ‘I'm a woman, and so it's funny that I'm single/fat’ – detract from her intended message of empowerment for all 'outsiders'. This final message of ‘don't let the Man get you down’ is entirely ineffective and unnecessary after she has practically sworn herself hoarse and heckled a stoic Yorkshireman almost to tears. Quite frankly, for an obviously middle-class, white and English (though she does her very best to do a King Edward I and claim Scotland as her own) woman to assert that she is an authority on 'black' culture, Scottishness, and the plight of homosexuals is distasteful.

Maureen Younger is funny, and obviously clever. But the overall concept of her act is pretty dated. It is difficult to see how her brand of comedy, based solely around the humorous nature of stereotypes, could be developed to suit events other than the Scottish Comedy Festival. Younger's wit should be praised, however, and I am sure, if she rethinks her angle, we will see a lot more of her in the future.

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Performances

The Blurb

Always an outsider, find out how Maureen became the only London-Scottish, Austrian German speaking, black lesbian comic working on the circuit despite being white and straight! ‘Funny and infectious’ (Time Out), ‘...hilarious’ (Voice-Online.co.uk).

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