Skip to main content

Review of Katherine Ryan: Katebum at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

Just over a week after my first experience of stand-up in the Derngate, I was back and fearful that another avenue of theatre was opening up before me like a great chasm in my wallet. Katherine Ryan just like Ed Byrne was familiar to me only though TV panel shows, so once again unshackled from the constraints of TV it would be interesting to see what was up.

It was as it turned out going to be a while before I was to see what was up, the other side of the interval in fact. As I was this night to experience my first ever support act. Mr Stephen Bailey at the very least prepared me well for Ryan's act, as we had some of the more gay offensive jokes you could ever wish to hear, enough to curl the tongs of some curling tongs no doubt. I wasn't bothered in the slightest as I don't get offended by material, I generally just get annoyed if its offensive through laziness. Bailey however is clever, funny and impressively relaxed with his audience. It must take great skill and indeed bravery to get into quite as much repartee with the audience as Bailey did with the front two rows. It was rude and constantly witty and quite successfully set the bar very high for the main event.

With all the barriers broken down, Katherine Ryan didn't feel quite as offensive as she might have done without Mr Bailey and even now I feel this is very beneficial to the act. Katherine Ryan's comedy is acerbic and often very cruel, a pretty much self confessed Joan Rivers style, but perhaps worse. Her ruthless tearing apart of the likes of Cheryl Tweedy/{insert current surname} was wicked in the extreme, but constantly very funny and from much of the audiences reactions, very appreciated. As was I think the Peter Andre material, although I felt much of the cruelest material in that was aimed at a certain Katie Price, which is also fine.

The third of the main celebrity targets was Bill Cosby and this provided much of the darkest material of the night. It takes skill and intelligence to take subjects like this and place them into a comedy act, and Miss Ryan is not left wanting in this regard.

The Kathbum of the title is her family nickname and comes into prominence towards the end where for a second you might think a bit of personal material might be less biting. However not, the tone remains for the show and that makes the show more and more funny. The conclusion is interestingly familiar to that of Ed Bynne with the personal aspect (is this a modern pattern or a coincidence?), however it leaves us with a warm feeling despite all the bitter twisted (and exceptionally funny) cruelty before it.

Kathbum is an evening of high entertainment from a confident and clear performer, which as long as you are happy to be offended in every way, you should find wonderful entertainment from. I gave Ed Byrne ««««½, but I feel Kathbum was better, so this is not leaving me many places to go, unlike Katherine Ryan who is touring to many locations until June. Seek her out.

«««««


Performance reviewed: Saturday 27th February, 2016 at the Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton.

Katherine Ryan: Kathbum was performed at the Royal & Derngate (Derngate) on Saturday 27th February, 2016 only but is on a tour until June. Website for details: http://www.katherineryan.co.uk/

For further details about the Royal & Derngate visit their website at http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Rules For Living at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

It is possibly a rule in life for a few in the audience for the opening night of Sam Holcroft's domestic comedy Rules For Living not to mention Christmas until December. Therefore anyone of such a persuasion might have been a little perturbed to be presented on the 13th September with, an undeniably brilliantly dressed, homely Christmas scene.

Opening up in glorious dollhouse style and on a gorgeous little hinge, this little home of living room and kitchen sets the scene for a typical family Christmas. Mother Edith (Jane Booker) welcomes her sons, Matthew (Jolyon Coy) and Adam (Ed Hughes) and their respective partners, Carrie (Carlyss Peer) and Nicole (Laura Rogers) And with a final dramatic arrival of father Francis (Paul Shelley), the scene is very much set for comic antics of the highest calibre.

The first thing you get from Rules For Living in the first few minutes is the arrival of one of the most brilliant, yet simple concepts I have seen for a while in the play. These are …

Review of Make Way For Lucia by John Van Druten at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

There have been a couple of television versions of the Mapp & Lucia novels by E. F. Benson over the years and irrespective of which generation version you might have seen, the roles of Miss Mapp and Mrs. Lucas were filled with some heavyweight performers. So taking on these roles could, in theory, be a challenge too much to live up to. However, that would be if the characters themselves were less the sum of the performer. These are great characters on paper as well as on stage and therefore Gena McCrystal (Miss Mapp) and Juliet O'Connor (Lucia) make them very much their own in the stage adaption by John Van Druten.

Lucia has arrived and breezed both into the town of Tilling and the musical chair roundabout of house rental that is want to occur here. Her rented property is Miss Mapp's and for some reason, Mapp fails to follow the routine of keeping away, constantly "popping in", so the battle lines are drawn.
Make Way for Lucia is the typical battle of supremacy i…

Review of Once Upon A Grimm Tale by The Royal & Derngate Actors Company (Early) at Judge's Lodgings, Northampton

Once upon a time, there was a brave theatrical reviewer. He lived in a market town in deepest darkest Englaland, where many great and remarkable things of stage did occur. At the centre of this wondrous world of performing spectacles was a place referred to by many as the Royal Derngatus, a place of people pretending to be other people and telling tales of mystery, intrigue and frolics.

Within the fortressed walls of Royal Derngatus, there were a group of fearless players who entertained local folk for no reward, other than the thrill of seeing the joy in the faces of others. Those group of artists went by the name of Actors Companus, which many pronounced carefully when they did say it out loud. This group of merry men and women did have two forms, an early and a late, and but two days before this adventurous evening of forthcoming storytelling, the late group did perform for a third and final time a most amazing feat of theatre, going by the name of Great Expectations.


Our hero of thi…