When Fern Brady takes to the Monkey Barrel stage, she finds a male audience member has decided to put his feet up on the rostrum. The manspreader is firmly told to move and the tone is set. Brady is here to command the room and some entitled guy isn’t going to pull focus.
Since moving from Scotland to London to further her comedy career, Brady has found herself the butt of jokes because of the way she talks, with lazy stereotypes thrown around under the guise of fun. She is happy to bust the myth that all Scots are alcoholic halfwits who are allergic to salad, and believes the only thing Scots are really bad at is writing World Cup songs and making amateur porn.
Power and Chaos sees Brady discussing her bisexuality, mental health issues, politics and her first proper scandal since starting in comedy. Last year Brady got in trouble for calling DUP leader Arlene Foster ‘a butch lesbian masquerading as a homophobe’ on BBC1 and some areas of the press called for an apology. This was Brady’s response. She’s incisive, with a wit so sharp it could cause injury, and while her boldness may not be to everyone’s taste, the audience lapped up every morsel.
Heavy topics are handled with ease, with even gags about mental institutions and abortion raising laughs. A bit on Edinburgh’s chihuahua café, drawing comparisons with a strip club, is so insightful you’re jealous you hadn’t made the connection yourself. A section on creepy fans proves that while being a woman on the internet can be tough, it’s nothing compared to a being woman in the public eye online.
Power and Chaos concludes with the funniest narration of a cute animal video you’re ever likely to hear, and the audience leave the venue electrified, knowing they’ve just watched something a bit special.