Birdy took herself back to the Three Sisters for this Eleanor Conway show that promised to be just the ticket for women who want more from their straight partners – and unlike some heterosexual encounters of the past, she wasn’t left disappointed.
DISCLAIMER: Although Edinburgh Reviews are supporting PBH’s Free Fringe with an ad in the ‘wee blue book’, we are reviewing shows from both the Laughing Horse and PBH’s Free Fringe, all of which will be reviewed fairly and without bias.
This was my first time seeing award-winning standup Eleanor Conway, so didn’t really know what to expect – but by the time I left, she was my hero.
Eleanor started by highlighting just how real the pleasure gap is for straight women by citing some statistics – before going into just how uneven pretty much everything else is, too. (Also, I was shocked about the fact women weren’t allowed bank accounts until 1975!)
As a heterosexual woman, I found the show not only relatable and down to earth, but also absolutely hilarious. It also made me super appreciative of the fact I’ve chosen not to have kids (and wouldn’t want to be a stepmother either), so 100% team Eleanor, there.
Despite the hot pink publicity photos, there’s nothing Barbie about this anti-patriarchy message – instead, it’s real, visceral, and a bit nasty in places (and I only hope ‘Stinkycock’ is thoroughly shamed!). Men; WASH YOUR COCKS!
The show does have mentions of Eleanor’s past addiction issues, but I wouldn’t say they’re ‘woven in’ to the show like she suggested critics might claim – they’re more just passing references and not really at the heart of what it’s about; it’s about not accepting the bare minimum as the norm in a relationship.
All too often, women are meant to be the caregivers, the cooks, the housekeepers, the organisers – and then, as Eleanor pointed out, sometimes they might get asked to make a list of all the things their men can help with, making them project managers, too!
Eleanor rightly pointed out the show isn’t always the most popular with men, and often they end up walking out. Luckily, I didn’t see much of that happening tonight, despite Eleanor ripping them (collectively) to shreds.
And, although grim in places (like having to wash a man’s cock with her own saliva), I found the final parting message to be an uplifting one, in that yes, you can be in your 40s, single, childless and happy – and that no-one should be able to tell you otherwise.
Also, it’s time to put ourselves first and come for our grandmothers! Outstanding.