I went to see Bridget Christie at London’s Leicester Square Theatre.
It’s the beginning of her Because You Demanded It tour, and if you click on the link below, you’ll find dates going through the first six months of 2017.
Book now, I’d say. The queue in Leicester Square was up the street and halfway down the next block.
I was taken by my friend Alison, who is Bridget’s radio producer. I’m telling you this because Alison and I agree on very little. Indeed, it’s been known for us to argue through the night, until the next day’s bus service commences. I’m not kidding.
And since Alison and I agree on very little – and nothing quite so much polarises us as the EU – it’s probably no stretch to say that Bridget Christie and I would agree on very little either. Her new show, which she tried (not very hard) to convince the audience is about gardening, is really about the trauma of Brexit.
But – as the vocabularily challenged like to say – here’s the thing: Alison and I are friends. We infuriate one another. But we’re grown ups. We love to debate, and we love to challenge. Not to mention that Alison is married to a Cuban, who is much more likely to agree with her than with me. So often, it’s two to one.
Making Brexit funny
As her husband said on Facebook, from Havana, in the aftermath of Castro’s death, “Though we disagree on many things, we are still friends”. Amen to that. And I would hope that Bridget Christie and I could agree to differ. It’s what being civilised and grown up is all about, isn’t it?
Because Bridget Christie made me laugh, even though I disagreed with much of what she was saying. I mean, literally, smacking my thighs, clapping my hands laughing. That’s a good trick, wouldn’t you say?
Watching the ‘debate’ about Brexit can be a miserable pastime. Both sides feel traditional media is against them; and there are people on social media who have literally posted that anyone who disagrees with them – or who, God forbid, voted Leave – should immediately unfriend their FB friend.
Unquestionably there is a minority of racist, nationalistic and contemptible people who voted Leave for inglorious reasons.
But equally, on the Remain side, there were people whose vote was knee-jerk and selfish. One posted on my FB: ‘I don’t care about millions of unemployed in southern Europe. The EU is good for me, and I will vote to stay in’. Which is fair enough, but is it any less contemptible than voting Leave because you think foreigners are ‘taking our jobs‘? It seems equally ignorant to me.
Not Tommy Cooper
As she moves around the country over the next few months, Bridget Christie may encounter more hostile audiences than the London audience I was part of, which seemed tailor-made for her particular world view.
She’ll cope. She isn’t one of those ‘you just have to look at them and you start laughing’ stand-ups. She’s not Victoria Wood, or Tommy Cooper, or Miranda Hart, or Eric Morecambe (all of whom worked very hard to reach the point where you’d laugh just looking at them).
Bridget Christie is not like that. She never will be. She has something to say (always) and this time it’s about Brexit. But you can’t just get up there and rant. It takes a combination of serious intelligence and talent to turn a rant into comedy gold. Not to mention hard work.
And she’s worked very hard; hard enough to have a queue down the street and halfway down the next block. In central London.
So, like I say, get booking. You don’t want to be halfway down the next block when she comes to town, hoping for a decent seat. Even if you voted Leave.
Since I don’t have many racist bigots logging on, it’d be a fair wager that you – dear Reader – will probably agree with her, but will find her thigh-smackingly, hand-clappingly funny even if you don’t.