The Lady Show

Playwright 
Diana Bang, Morgan Brayton, Fatima Dhowre, Katie-Ellen Humphries, Kerri Donaldson, Allie Entwistle, Jan Derbyshire
Reviewed by 
Geffen Semach

Image: Brunch Comedy

Putting the “Joy” back in Feminist Killjoy, The Lady Show returned for an evening of celebration, stand-up, sketch, storytelling, feminism, silliness, rage, compassion, and satire. Oh, and there was birthday cake.

You may not attend a comedy show in hopes of being taken on an emotional ride other than that of laughing so hard you cry; however, The Lady Show delivers powerful performances filled with commentary and satire.

While I can honestly say that The Lady Show did not disappoint on the comedy front, this was not your average comedy performance. This became apparent off-the-bat as the cast opened up the night with an apt rendition of the #MeToo movement that started off quite silly and just became more rage-filled as it continued, to the point that audience members joined in.

The Lady Show allowed the audience to give into their anger, their frustration, and their confusion of where the world has been over the last year. At times, the subject matter toed a “grey area”, appropriately explored in a like-named skit smack-centre in the production. Moreover, the cast handled these emotions with understanding and ridiculousness to ensure that the audience left with hope—and a song stuck in their heads.

Highlights of the show included a skit about imposter syndrome (in space), performed by the guest comedy duo, Brunch Comedy, who executed their sketches with great synchronicity and dark humour. An energetic piece by Diana Bang was particularly emotional and poignant, as Bang talked (and danced) on the subject of white-male privilege and what it’s like to be a female, minority actor—leaving the audience whooping, clapping, and exhausted.

It was also a great pleasure to laugh along with Jan Derbyshire, who brought levity to some really discouraging life experiences. While I found myself cackling at some pretty disturbing scenarios, Derbyshire’s performance reminded me of the importance of humour in a world that, hopefully, will keep evolving to be more tolerant and light-hearted.

The Lady Show may have been a ride of emotions, but in the end, the performances were thought-out and carried-out in a manner that had me snorting with laughter, embracing my inner, dark humour, and fully glad I showed up.

Overall, The Lady Show delivers on a celebration of comedy, rage, compassion, and feminism for many performances worth seeing.

Geffen Semach is a member of Room's editorial board.

Starring 
Diana Bang, Morgan Brayton, Fatima Dhowre, Katie-Ellen Humphries, Kerri Donaldson, Allie Entwistle, Jan Derbyshire

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