Rosie Holt: The Woman’s Hour

Rosie Holt’s The Woman’s Hour is a satirical amalgamation of characters that provides a commentary on British politics. By adding a twist on reality, Holt introduces us to an array of personas, from a conservative talk show host to an overly left-wing podcaster and a politician’s wife.

Makes a mockery of all the political stereotypes that we know and love

Matty Hutson’s support act comes in the form of musical comedy that conveys a sense of playfulness through his tongue-in-cheek humour that accompanies a narration of an ordinary individual coming face to face with some pretty extraordinary situations. Armed with an electric guitar and keyboard, we are also treated to responses from women about their songs that include iconic numbers such as Valerie, Delilah and Jolene, which strip away the romanticisation of them that the songs create.

The Woman's Hour makes a mockery of all the political stereotypes that we know and love, combining them into a rather disjointed show that is a little hard to follow at times. There are moments where the performance lags a little, mostly because Holt stretches the joke out for too long. Whilst she does hook onto familiar but unreplicated character traits with a blunt honesty that makes for a clever zinger, the prolonged exposure to these characters reduces our interest with each one until we are left with a feeling of tiredness, and even a little boredom. Although, this in itself is perhaps a valid commentary on voter disaffection.

In her over-exaggerated and painfully realistic sketches, the perceptiveness of Holt’s portrayal and observations are unparalleled. There is a biting element to her characters; an edge that stems from the sheer accuracy of what she is portraying. For comedic effect we would think that there is a slight exaggeration of some tropes and traits of these figures, but if this is the case, it is not obvious because often what we are hearing is a word-for-word depiction of what we observe daily. Her off-hand comments gain the biggest laughs, spinning what should be considered a ludicrous statement that incredibly often rings a bit too true.

In her comparison to Buffy the vampire slayer, Holt calls the Tory party her vampires and laughter her stakes, something that is very much needed in the current political climate. The comedic aspects of her performance leave no room for the anger that we might feel watching any one of these characters on the news. But somehow she hasn’t managed to find a balance between keeping us laughing at the ridiculousness of what is happening and sending us into a state of melancholy at the bleakness of the situation. Because whilst her characters may be fictional, every one of us can imagine the inspiration behind them.

Holt is an incredibly clever writer and performer, and her performance hits too close to home for casual viewing. The Woman’s Hour reminds us of the bleakness in the world, but Holt’s hand-holding and comedic efforts provide enjoyment that is missing from current affairs.

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Social Media sensation and Chortle Award winner Rosie Holt debuts an hour of comedy based on her smash-hit satirical videos, as seen millions of times online.

“If she can stay in character long enough, she’ll have a telegraph column and a seat on Question Time by teatime” James O’Brien

"The Thick of It levels of writing and performance applied to a very 2022 flavour of political bullshit." The Times

"A wonderful showcase for the woman that the pandemic turned into a sensation with her hilarious but also chilling realistic takes on a dissembling rising Tory star." The New European

"These characters are so well-observed that I feel they can turn their hand to anything" I Talk Telly

★★★★★ Lost in Theatreland

★★★★ Time Out

★★★★ I Talk Telly

★★★★ Broadway Baby

★★★★ The Arts Desk

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