The News at Kate: Leftie Cock Womble

Amidst the moustachioed revolutionaries that don the walls of Viva Mexico restaurant, Kate Smurthwaite takes the mic for a thought-provoking hour of comedy. She blends anecdote, social commentary and the political with a perfect balance of intelligent and wit, making her an invaluable contribution to the female stand up scene. Taking care to interact with the audience, she has won us over early on in the performance.

Oozing confidence and character, the personable Smurthwaite provides a delightfully riotous, politically infused, eye-opening hour of stand up.

Smurthwaite’s reputation precedes her. Known as feminist, atheist and pro-abortionist it is easy to predict the topics around which her stand up will revolve. These political ideals all feature in News at Kate: Leftie Cock Womble, but not necessarily in the ways that one might have expected; her militancy is indirect as she addresses the response that the media has had towards her because of her unwavering defence of these ideas.

Quite the personality, Smurthwaite unpretentiously shares with us the behind the scenes of shows such as Question Time. From Nuts magazine, to the Daily Mail and even the Guardian, Smurthwaite has a bone to pick with the media. Aided by a slideshow she reveals misleading headlines and ridiculous ones, as well as instances of statistical extrapolation and language manipulation.

Smurthwaite combines discussion of current affairs with more general musings on language. For example, taking the term ‘freedom of speech’ and showing how radically differently it can be understood by personalities such as Frankie Boyle on the one hand, and by political activists such as Raif Badawi that are suffering imprisonment for exercising theirs on the other. She goes on to contrast the human claim to freedom of speech with advertising’s exercise of an inexplicit ‘right to lie’. Her insightful examination of social priorities is always witty and accessible, managing to avoid preachy didacticism.

In a particularly entertaining part of the show, Smurthwaite enumerates the topics that she had censored from herself as a female comedian up until this point. She shares with us the trials and tribulations that she, as a woman and a stand up comedian, has suffered through and beaten off to have her voice heard.

Oozing confidence and character, the personable Smurthwaite provides a delightfully riotous, politically infused, eye-opening hour of stand up.  

Reviews by Maria Hagan

Summerhall @ Roundabout

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★★★
Viva Mexico

The News at Kate: Leftie Cock Womble

★★★★
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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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

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The Blurb

ThreeWeek's Editor's Choice 2013 Award winner and writer for BBC3 series The Revolution Will Be Televised, Kate is an increasingly familiar face after appearing on Question Time in January. Her new show, as you'd expect, is highbrow, left-wing, feminist, atheist and awesome. It's also free! ‘The verve with which she articulates her view on our land is monumental ... when it comes to political comedy The News At Kate really is the cream of the crop’ (BroadwayBaby.com). ‘An important and inclusive narrative on our society’ (ScotsGay). ’Comedy that cuts through the crap’ (ThreeWeeks).

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