Anger is distinctly unladylike. At least, that’s what patriarchal society likes to tell us. This is just one of the many disempowering standards set for women. You know, the people who are meant to be secondary in the world?
If you feel like that’s an extreme statement, just consider the reactions we’ve seen to the #metoo movement in recent months. The entire thing would be completely unremarkable, and unnecessary, if women weren’t expected to have less power than men.
In Giant & Angry, Gillian English paints a picture with which we can all identify. Whether anger is shoved down where no one else can see it, or held forth in an act of empowerment, it is unquestionably present. And why wouldn’t it be?
Despite its very serious topic, this show is marvellously funny. Barely a moment passes without laughter. We learn about plans for the apocalypse, what it’s like to be phenomenally tall at eleven years old, and the kind of bargain shopping that anyone – regardless of gender – would be envious of.
English’s story is unique in many ways, not least her relationship with her father, but it’s also a story that shares common ground with all women.
While the audience is picked up in a whirlwind of hilarious anecdotes, English builds on a theme that is particularly compelling. Her superb storytelling style, intelligent and sharp-witted commentary, and deft ability to assume a new character mid-story keep us all immersed.
The series of personal experiences shared in this performance encapsulate exactly why women are and always have been giant and angry. English is vehement, strong, and unapologetic. And, judging by the applause at the end of the opening night performance, we all love her for it.
Giant & Angry is a show with a clear message for all genders. Women are powerful, giant and angry, and anyone who feels threatened by this should be taking a very close look at why that is.
Tickets available from the FRINGE WORLD website.