Adelaide, Adelaide Fringe 2015

Kirsty Mac – Feminazi, Adelaide Fringe Festival 2015

0 Comments 09 March 2015

Kirsty Mac is a tough comedian. She approaches the audience head on, leaving no prisoners, and tries as valiantly as possible to engage with them. Sometimes she is successful, and sometimes she isn’t, but her comedian chops are certainly there and willing to work in spades. That deserves applause of every kind.

Feminazi, Kirsty Mac’s show for the Adelaide Fringe, is a guided tour down memory lane where Kirsty attempts to turn everyday examples of misogyny on its head with a gruff attitude, wry tongue and typical east coast wit. Feminazi is not “a history of misogyny” but captures small, intricate moments in interesting ways. There is a a sort of repossession happening here. Kirsty takes situations that may have been embarrassing for her and situates them as gross or silly on the man’s part. This is a great way of taking the power back, pushing the responsibility back onto the other side, and this makes for great material. The title for the show itself is immediately striking, though it’s uncertain whether this is for good or bad.

Kirsty Mac does not often have tact for when discussing certain topics and areas of discussion. While Kirsty touches on arresting topics in her show, in retrospect, it doesn’t seem like it is as confronting as it could be. There is almost an undertone of anger here, something that would be all too present in a show by a male comedian, so perhaps it is beneficial that she is playing a side too often not seen. Kirsty’s shtick is very much on being a woman in a very masculine world, and she wants to play the field comprehensively.

In this respect, it would be an overstretch to say Kirsty’s delivery is nuanced. It batters you over the head and assumes you to be on board with what she is saying, but leaves plenty of room for imagination if you “don’t get it.” Perhaps this is one of her many strengths as a performer – a feminist message conveyed through comedy is not easy to explicitly perform, but there are certain types of people who would walk away as converts. Is this not a success?

Some of the content makes the audience question whether the material was appropriate – which is often the case with comedy. Situated somewhere between liberal feminism and surprisingly clever dad humour, she touches on all kinds of things like expectations in relationships, periods, the inconveniences of gendered product placement, and a slew of similar topics. It’s easy to have very solid expectations with a show like this – and only 50% of that was realised (even though that is certainly not a bad thing). It should be mentioned though, that when Kirsty hits the right spot, it earns uproarious, genuine, deep-bellied laughter from the audience.

Feminazi is an enjoyable show with an uncanny way of picking apart truths that may otherwise go unnoticed. A friendly, knowing vibe was established by the end of her set despite it’s directness, which is to be commended. This is an indication of someone who is a very professional performer, but one who ironically may not get her credit due to her standing as a “feminist.” It’s sad, but she certainly deserves more and she very much knows her way around a comedy performance.

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Writer, editor, artist, and magic maker from Adelaide. Forever curious and permanently interested in the power of empathy.

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