The News at Kate 2013: My Professional Opinion

Arguing with idiots is how Kate Smurthwaite describes her profession as a left-wing political activist. When it comes to political stand up comedy, The News at Kate is the cream of the crop. A fixture at the Fringe since 2009, this year's focus falls on political opinions; where we get them from, how we make them heard, and how to have the final word when called upon to defend these views.

Smurthwaite discusses her experiences in the media, and the tactics that she employs to breeze through even the most aggressive debates. For example, being an atheist on The Big Questions, which is mostly occupied with theological issues, is of no consequence. Less momentous a subject, but alternately monumentally funny, is TV’s Dawn Porter and her many misadventures. We explore her hypocrisies, a stab or two at feminism, and the mighty Smurthwaite versus Porter debate at the Women of the World festival 2012, boldly taking on the true big questions in life, such as sparkly vaginas.

Also brilliantly self-deprecating, she paints a hilarious portrait of home life with the 'witch' of her critics' creation, and introduces us to the surprisingly likeable 'Extreme Kate', or megaphone-wielding beast of Tory nightmares, who bawls wildly at the opposition. This is hugely entertaining in its own right, as all her aggressive shouting is made up of entirely valid and sensible points.

The show is not just about being a badass however; the infinitely wise and resourceful internet once again impresses us as the main authority on opinion-forming. The show is structured around a wikiHow step-by-step guide, through which Smurthwaite tells us many an example of ill-founded opinions and utter rubbish set loose in the mass media.

The humour is witty as hell, dealing as coolly with sex as with the hottest of topical debates. There's a great deal of brilliant nonsense in there too, including impersonations of Tory MP Nadine Dorries and the highs and lows of fan mail (as well as hate mail). Bang-on humour, big topics and easygoing delivery make this top-quality stand-up from a lady who knows a thing or two about making an impact.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

Comedian and activist Kate Smurthwaite's unashamedly left wing, highbrow show. ‘The verve with which she articulates her views on our land is monumental’ (BroadwayBaby.com). www.katesmurthwaite.co.uk

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