Titania McGrath: Mxnifesto

Titania McGrath may just be a young Kensington girl with a modest Trust Fund and a thirst for social justice, but she's in Edinburgh to make a difference, and inspire us common people to recognise the injustices of the 21st century patriarchy all around us. Indeed, having apparently conquered the world of social media, she's now set her sights on running the country, hence the Fringe launch of Shame UK, political "Party of the Woke".

Titania's core strength is that she's totally unaware of her own ridiculousness.

Originating as a spoof Twitter account, and then a book brilliantly satirising the millennial desire for intersectional victimhood, Titania's lecture-cum-spoken-word-performance has two things going for it. Firstly, the script: Andrew Doyle’s twin careers as playwright and risqué stand-up ensure a sharp, subtly-shaped hour that never wastes a moment on a cheap gag (although that's not to say there aren't any… they're just not a waste of time). Secondly, there's the performer: Alice Marshall proves beyond doubt why she's an award-winning comedy actor, embodying Titania without the knowing sarcasm that would have ruined everything.

Like many iconic comedy characters before her, Titania's core strength is that she's totally unaware of her own ridiculousness: that for her to claim being a modern-day Rosa Parks, or Mahatma Gandhi, is laughable, and not just because she's "young and hot", so not like other veterans of the social justice movement. Occasionally, Doyle almost pushes Titania's lack of self-knowledge too far to be even momentarily believable; and yet there are equally the most subtle of references for an attentive audience to pick up on, to understand just how much Titania is the intolerant monster she's supposedly fighting.

There's definitely an up-to-minute feel to proceedings: an opening video-montage, for example, (telling us there's "nothing to fear" in arguably the most fearful way possible) includes "our" new Prime Minister Boris Johnston outside Number 10. Yet there's also a sense of a long history of comedic fools behind Titania, with Doyle and Marshall providing a much-needed look at ourselves. So, as Titania says after performing one of her poems: "You’re Welcome."

Reviews by Paul Fisher Cockburn


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Since you’re here…

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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.
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The Blurb

Titania McGrath is a radical intersectionalist poet committed to feminism, social justice and armed peaceful protest. As a millennial icon on the forefront of online activism, Titania is uniquely placed to explain to you why you are wrong about everything and how to become truly woke. 'The latest genius twist in Britain’s long tradition of satirical spoof' (Daily Express). 'Outrageous and hilarious' (Irish Independent). 'Brilliant' (Daniel Sloss). 'Titania McGrath is a genius' (Spectator). 'Hilarious... perfectly captures the joyless tone of the woke Stasi' (Times). 'Lampooning the language of social justice is a cheap shot' (Observer).

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