Having performed her show, ‘This Isn’t for You’, on tour earlier in the year and then every day at the Edinburgh Fringe, comedian Catherine Bohart decided it needed one final hurrah at London’s Leicester Square Theatre on Friday night.
Catherine is an Irish, queer comedian known for her podcast, Trusty Hogs – with fellow comedian and support for this show, Helen Bauer. (*side note – Helen Bauer, in my humble opinion, is the best comedian around and it should be illegal to not go and see at least one of her shows every year).
I’d never seen Catherine live (in terms of performance, I have walked past her in a coffee shop in Edinburgh – not to boast) and this show did not disappoint. She started off with a pre-warning – that much of this show was written in January 2020 when her girlfriend (also a comedian) of 5 years had just broken up with her. She thanked the pandemic for giving her time, and hindsight, which turned the show from one about fresh heartbreak to one about heartbreak after a period time.
A highlight of the show for me was her bit about how you don’t need a man in a romantic couple because you can hire these things called ‘handymen’ who will complete the tasks women are ‘unable’ to do themselves. Not only was this show very funny, but it was also educational. She did a routine about men gatekeeping how easy it is to bleed a radiator – I learnt that this doesn’t even require a blood sacrifice.
Audience interaction was great. Andrew, an occupational therapist (Catherine didn’t know what that was either) and Jack, a nurse (yes, that did get a round of applause much to Catherine’s dismay) were her prime targets along with a couple in the front row wearing sweatshirts with a photo of her on each of their boobs. The theatre was about half-full which felt like a shame, but it made the gig feel intimate. Helen ended her support act by urging the people at the back to move to the front, to fill the gaps ‘otherwise Catherine’s OCD will not be able to handle it’. There was a vibe that everyone there was a fan of Catherine’s work, which made the atmosphere really welcoming and encouraging. Even heckles were kind, for example one woman, who had seen the show before, shouting a punchline before Catherine could say it.
She made some insightful comments about the nature of our society too – like, why is it so easy and socially acceptable to break up with a romantic partner, but when you try to do the same thing to a friend it is weird and frowned-upon?
I took my sister to this show – not a comedy nerd like me, but I am training her to be (without her knowledge). She was cackling throughout, which is always a good sign at a comedy show. Afterwards she said that she really enjoyed it. She described Helen as what I am like in my head, and Catherine as what I am like to the outside – for anyone that knows me this is a very good description of both the pair of them and me. I was flattered by this comparison.
Key things I will take aways from this show:
- Adults should not have birthday parties
- You can put wood under bookshelves to keep them from being wobbly
- Self-love is for Americans