Review: Harriet Kemsley ‘Slutty Joan’, Soho Theatre
“A well-delivered and fun hour of stand-up”
The #MeToo movement has been one of the most poignant focuses of the decade and beyond. It’s a major talking point in comedy and approaches to the topic have been varied – now, Harriet Kemsley is standing up with a voice to defend those that have been victims of slut-shaming.
Slutty Joan is a quick-paced, fifty-minute performance where Kemsley goes through her history of men and the experiences on the way. The title refers to a Cornell University study where a fictional woman is labelled as overall lesser (mainly emotionally) after she’d been told she’d had a high number of sexual partners. Relating to this, Kelsey stands in Joan’s defence – she is Joan, she’s proud of it and is able to laugh at it. The show, like many nowadays, packs an emotional punch but the silly moments are indeed the highlights.
Kemsley has been on the comedy scene for a while but this seems to be her moment to branch out even further and more are becoming aware of her foolhardy personality. Her childish charm and dark sense of humour stands her out from the rest – you feel safe in her presence which makes the sexually explicit humour she expresses all the more funnier. She told the story how some people have come up to her after shows and were confused to find that she wasn’t a character – concocted for the audience’s enjoyment because surely, nobody like this could possibly be real? She laughs it off in what is a well-delivered and fun hour of stand-up.
Words: Tomm J Ingram