Glittery Divisive Comedy
I’ve said it before but when it comes to stand-up comedy, this is one of the most difficult mediums to review. What one person finds funny another may not. With this in mind then, I have to admit – I didn’t like Glitter Room that much. Technically at least, the stand-up is actually written quite well, with a good amount of interaction with the audience and some beautifully presented jokes that manage to tie everything together cohesively at the end. My issue with Glitter Room comes from the constant repetition of the same joke, played out in a plethora of different ways, but always targeted at the same group of people.
After a brief round of applause, Katherine begins right at the heart of the drama. She begins by discussing men killing women before comparing them to dolphins -they should only be enjoyed on holiday. After a good 10 minutes or so of discussing the flaws and problems with the male sex, including playfully patronizing a man in the front row, she moves on to discussing her daughter Violet and the school run. Here she talks about Jane, the stereotypical school Mum whom many people will relate to if they’ve ever been on a school run too. It’s a clever, humorous segment which leads her on nicely to discussing Jane’s husband Brian who appears donning a bike helmet but no actual bike.
As she discusses Jane and their fractured relationship, there are a few nicely timed jokes here, including discussions around running out of time and how that affects your life. After commenting on how men don’t let you have certain dogs, she moves the conversation back to Violet, complete with a posh English accent. There’s a really nice segment here about bullying which has some good punch lines and a few thought provoking ideas before going on to talk about co-parenting. This leads to her talking about where she’s from, which garners a good heckle and a brilliant return from Katherine which to me, is the best part of the stand-up.
We then go on to discuss the Kardashians where she ironically singles out a man in the front row and asks if he likes the show. He says he’s indifferent which prompts her to discuss the benefits. This brings her round nicely to the topic of single women where she points out a few women in the audience and discusses matters with them. This back-and-forth is where Katherine is at her best and her witty replies certainly show as much. She then ends this segment with a reminder that we all need to be treated equally.
She then finishes the stand-up with a nice story about Anna Kendrick before she reiterates that she doesn’t dislike men before talking about how men need to stop taking advantage of vulnerable women. We end with a last joke tying it back to Celine Dion and dating older men for money.
Discounting the self-aware nature of the poor accents, Glitter Room will find its market and there’s certainly a good ebb and flow to this stand-up that makes the time pass pretty quickly. The heckles with the audience are really well timed and there’s no denying that Katherine Ryan knows exactly how to work a room. This is certainly better than Amy Schumer’s recent effort in terms of the jokes and pacing of the show but for me, I can’t help but feel the repetition of the same joke detracts from the comedy that’s here. It feels unnecessary and at times cynical and bitter rather than playful rapport around the subject.
Having said that though, Glitter Room will almost certainly divide audiences and I guess in a way that’s what you want from stand up comedy. I’d definitely recommend checking this out though but you’ll know very early on if this is a comedy for you. Stay for the first 15 minutes and if you’re not sold by then, move on. If you do find yourself enjoying the opening segments though, stick around as the comedy definitely gets better as the show goes on. With such a divisive humour, the marmite of the stand-up world if you will, Glitter Room is a hard one to recommend to the masses. You’ll either love or loathe this one.