Edinburgh Fringe Review #11: Katherine Ryan – ‘Kathbum’.

Hello again! It’s nearly the end of the August, which means it’s pretty much the end of Summer! In my house, we’re all gearing up to go back to school, work (my Mum works in a school so she gets the same vacation times too) and university! I’ve had such a lovely summer! I may not have necessarily done lots and lots or travelled across the world but I have just enjoyed being in the company of my family and friends, both at home and in Edinburgh. Anyway, I’ve still got two more Edinburgh reviews to write and then this marathon feat is done! So, back to Edinburgh and reflecting on ‘Top Thursday’ in a nostalgic way…

I’d just seen Joe Lycett’s set which was incredible and great, and I was walking out of the Pleasance Cabaret room singing, but I was now about to enter the queue to see my favourite comedian. I (as am sure many do) got lost in the Pleasance Courtyard, when in fact all I had to do was walk two metres and I’d have found myself in the right queue. Considering I’d just left a gig, I was considerably nearer the front than the back of the queue. I was ready to watch Katherine Ryan, and I was so excited! I’d booked my ticket for Katherine as soon as I knew that I was going to the Fringe. She was the first comedian to sell out their run at Edinburgh, so I luckily managed to snap up a ticket for one of her extra shows and I’m so glad I did. Not just one of my favourite ‘celebrities’, Katherine is one of my favourite people and it’s surreal to think that whilst watching her perform, I know just how lovely she is in a one-to-one chat.

Katherine is one of the UK’s hottest comedians on the circuit. She’s a Canadian who has lived in London for the best part of a decade, and she’s appeared on basically every British comedy show that has been on BBC, ITV, Channel 4 or E4. Her first gig was on 8 Out of 10 Cats, and then she performed on Mock the Week, QI and has now taken a captain role on the new TV panel show Safeword. She’s also a dab hand at presenting, recently hosting season 2 of Hair. Even with all of these strings to her bow, she’s a comedy actress, having a small role on BBC3’s ‘Badults’ featuring the Pappy trio. But, even with all of these incredible feats, it’s definitely her stand up routines that have earned her the great success that she has been receiving. Her featured performance on Live at the Apollo including the ‘Beyonce’ routine and dance got her noticed by many fans alike, and every live show she does, a Beyonce/Katherine moment is always an occurrence, and is most definitely a treat. Although her new tour does not feature it as strong, Katherine definitely demonstrates her opinion on popular culture and how Beyonce is as a mum.

Fun fact: Katherine and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini/Cole/Tweedy/Girls Aloud/Simon Cowell’s puppet share the same birthday on the same year. So they’re twins. Is this why Katherine always talks about Cheryl? Who knows, but Katherine is definitely the nation’s comedy sweetheart.

KR 1

After a few minutes wait and an excited text exchange with my Dad, I finally took my seat in Pleasance Beyond. Katherine sold out this extra show as well as 4 others, going up to Edinburgh specifically for one gig. Clearly, Katherine is in heavy demand at the moment, and people all around me were buzzing to see the hype of Katherine Ryan in front of them. Then, Katherine walked on, a few minutes on before the time it was said to start. Even she acknowledged that we weren’t expecting that. She then announced that she is “TV’s Katherine Ryan”, clearly addressing that she’s on television so often, it’s impossible to escape her. A few weeks ago, she was on five days out of seven in different TV programmes, with her hair length being the giveaway on how old programmes were. Katherine then started her set, and she is such a refreshing change to the typical observational comedy that has prevailed the stand-up world. Being a young woman (who genuinely looks 19), she’s hard-cutting and snarky with her comments on famous celebrities and opinions, but they’re never so offensive that it should cause a Twitter riot. Yes, Phillipines, I’m looking at you there. The Guardian also agree that Katherine is changing the comedy world, calling her the new ‘superbitch’. Is this Katherine’s new alias? With one-liners such as “(Joan Rivers) got exactly what she wanted from that final surgery: to stop ageing”, she’s icy yet her comments bear truth, mocking the characteristics of people in the public eye.

It’s not just Joan Rivers that Katherine talks about. She discusses Mo Farah and Peter Andre at some length, however what Katherine excels at is the topical comedy. She discusses the latest Twitter row between Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj, accents and all. They were both portrayed incredibly well, Taylor being depicted as a darling who can do no wrong at the moment, whilst Nicki’s sass exuded out of every word. Katherine being Nicki Minaj was one of my favourite moments of the entire show, however Katherine had had some practice, having been Nicki Minaj in “Let’s Dance for Comic Relief”. Nonetheless, these few minutes of discussing the popular music industry were an amuse-bouche for what she really wanted to discuss in her show; her family.

KR 2

The main premise of ‘Kathbum’ is writing a wedding speech for when she goes back to Toronto in a few weeks’ time for her younger sister’s wedding day. Throughout the show, it feels as though you are slowly welcomed into her family. We learned about her hometown and how she absolutely hates it and she knew from a young age that it wasn’t her vibe or scene. We learn about her sisters Kerrie and Joanne, her older sister who went off to live with her husband, and her younger sister who she would always joke about with. I loved the little family story of their game ‘Relax’ which just ended up in them annoying each other. I’ve now started playing this game with my sister and it definitely works. Even though people may say that she can toe the border with being offensive, these lovely stories about her family just show that her whole life has been great, and her heart is always in the right place whenever she constructs her jokes. Just watch her recent appearance on the Last Leg and how she discusses Caitlyn Jenner if you don’t believe me.

Another crux of ‘Kathbum’ was her discussion of the Filipinos. She talked us back to the time when she made a certain comment on Mock the Week about the makeup industry and Filipino children and how it was taken out of context. Her face was plastered all over Filipino TV and she became a national hate symbol not too dissimilar to Hitler. However, the Filipino’s now need to welcome them into her culture. Her sister, Kerrie is getting married to a Filipino and she can’t quite believe her luck that a Filipino will be her brother-in-law, and she’ll have to give a speech on their wedding day. Even though Katherine has done gigs in front of thousands of people (as I write this, she’s performing at a festival), she’s apprehensive of talking in front of the neighbourhood that she left behind to pursue her career and craft. For the end of the show, she closes with the wedding speech, and I’m leaving that a secret for you to hear when you go and see her live. Because of this, I’m giving ‘Kathbum’ two reviewing emojis that go hand-in-hand. A wedding ring and a loveheart, because Katherine is just such a lovely person and I wish her career EVEN more success and I hope we will still be in contact in many, many years to come.

She’s touring the country this Autumn: http://www.katherineryan.co.uk/

And as for a song, it has to be this hilarious number that was playing as we were sitting in the audience. Very cheeky, even cheekier than her ‘Kath Bum Me’ with a loveheart badge. www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgWgEoaAYDY


Sophie x

Why don’t you check out my last review, where I saw Joe Lycett, and my final review of Out of the Blue?

Update: So I went to see this show once again on 3rd March at Warwick Arts Centre in Butterworth Hall. I went for a number of reasons, mainly to see one of my favourite comedians perform once again and I’d be silly not to; the venue is on my campus! One minute I was in a lecture, the next I was having a glass of wine on the front row getting excited.

Two of my favourite things! And yes, my university has 3 Snapchat filters… 

Madly, Katherine’s show has become even better. Just seeing her on stage makes me smile, and I’m so fortunate to be able to say that I consider her more of a friend than people whom I considered my best friends at school. She still discussed ‘Relax’, the Filipinos, Nicki Minaj. But she also discussed Donald Trump… a topic that I absolutely love (the year abroad is soaking up every inch of me!) and it was hilarious as per.

Katherine absolutely rocks, and you should all definitely go and see her, it’s worth going to see again and again! LOVE HER.

Look how adorable this little gem is.

(Enjoyed, again)

Sophie x



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