Fringe Review: Man & Son: Ladies First

MAN & SON: LADIES FIRST by Felicity Penman.

MAN & SON: LADIES FIRST by Felicity Penman and Carolyn Williamson. Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse. July 4 at 1 pm, July 6 at 9:15 pm, July 7 at 2:30 pm, July 9 at 5:45 pm, July 10 at 7 pm. Buy tickets. Rating: NNN

This might not be the most polished or flashy sketch comedy show at the fest, but Felicity Penman and Carolyn Williamson carve out a nice niche for their unassuming bits that explore friendship, sex and gender.

The first few skits are hit-and-miss, but the duo soon hit their stride with one about a lonely woman stubbornly refusing to be rescued from a burning building by a female firefighter (preferring instead to wait for a hunky male stereotype).

Another strong one has Penman auditioning for a role, while trying in vain to accommodate a string of constantly changing rapid-fire demands from the director.

The heart of the show is an empowering original song they perform on acoustic guitar that catalogues and protests the various ways men accost women in public. Entertaining, and politically engaged, their understated brand of humour grows on you.

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