A History of Feminism (As Told by a Sexist Pig)
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall
As a critic, you go to see shows for various reasons. Occasionally the title of a show will pique your interest, and sometimes it's to see if the promise of the title and the short description in a show's PR blurb is even vaguely accurate.
In the case of Lloyd Evan's A History of Feminism (As Told by a Sexist Pig), the promise of the show would seem to be inherent to the title, however the possibility remained that this concept could be realised in a variety of clever ways; be that as an ironic feminist piece, as an outright swathe of sexist shock-comedy or as a propaganda piece from a men's rights activist.
However at the close of the piece I was left uncertain as to what I'd seen, as the show is a bit of a mystery, and by mystery, I mean failure, and by failure, I mean unmitigated disaster on every level.
The first warning should have been the opening ten minutes of the runtime being taken up by Lloyd Evans scratching his head and failing to successfully connect his laptop to the projector; then his reading the act off a sheaf of pieces of A4 paper while simultaneously checking his 'phone to see how much time he had.
To add to the horror, he repeatedly blocked the projector screen, thus ruining most of the jokes, every time he stepped over to the laptop to change slide. The final insult was that he skipped a chunk of the show, where he'd promised to explain why women want to be feminists, and instead ended up fluffing a joke on Margaret Thatcher, starting to end the play, then remembering a final gag and tossing it in anyway.
It's hard to say whether Evans was simply flustered and thrown by the technical issues at the start, which led to him rushing and losing his cool. But the entire show was delivered in such a monotonous flat tone, with no hint of charisma or charm, that even the few good jokes only garnered a small half-hearted laugh.
Being charitable, the show did at least have a structure to it, and a few laughs, but what the intention was, is utterly unclear. Still, at least Evans had the common sense to end the show with a quickly shouted thanks and ducked behind the curtain before the sparse smattering of bemused applause from the baffled audience dwindled away to nothing.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan