World Buskers Festival

A'Court show tickles the funny bone


REVIEW: Michele A'Court's new one- woman show is smart, inspiring and, most importantly, very funny.

When her daughter turned 20, got a job and left home; A'Court was left to ponder if she had equipped her daughter with enough knowledge and wisdom to take on the world.

Had she taught her how to defrost frozen bread during a power cut? Did she know a good tip to avoid laddered tights? What about sex?

This simple hook is used as a starting point to satirise recent events and talk about life in middle age. But the heart of the show is nothing less than a brief history of feminism, outlining its continued relevance and power.

OK, I just made this show sound a bit boring. But it's just righteous enough to be inspiring, rather than offputting, and just funny enough to remain engaging. A'Court has a great knack of getting to the heart of the matter and then piercing it with a sharply-worded gag.

Want an example? Well it gets no sharper than this: "People often ask: 'Now we've won, do we still need feminism?' You may as well ask: "Now there is no slavery, do we still need black people?"

I only have a couple of quibbles. The last 10 minutes felt a little rushed as A'Court rattled through the final slides of her presentation like a harried businessman. The heart of the show requires the audience to absorb quite a lot of information, so it felt like we deserved a neater bow on the conclusion.

Also, I expected a show about a daughter leaving home to have a little more emotional underpinning. It could have done with a little more of a personal touch.

But, there is no doubt that A'Court had her audience rapt. There were a lot of middle-aged women and their daughters righteously nodding and then laughing in recognition. And, obviously, it's not just for women. I'm a 37-year-old man and I loved it. It was fascinating, informative and funny.

Stuff I Forgot to Tell my Daughter - Michele A'Court
Every night at 7.15 in the Tea Cup Tent in North Hagley Park.

Charlie Gates

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