Katherine Ryan's show is partly about being a 'freak': being the ginger kid dragged around to beauty pageants by her mum, becoming a young mother herself and dealing with the passive-aggressive snobbery of Crouch End yummy mummies and being a woman comedian on the circuit. Or, to give her her proper job description, a comedian.
On the surface, Ryan is a tiny, pretty, performance-school ditz, but there's a hint of Kristen Schaal and Sarah Silverman in her schtick. Her show is unabashedly feminist, ripping into exploitative reality TV, motherhood and small town-low expectations among others, with a quite dark, savage wit. And it's all beautifully underlined by some pageantry tricks she picked up as a small child, particularly songs that stay the right side of saccharine and cringeworthy, with some sharp lyrics.
We're not sure how much of the Edinburgh show we saw — there was a lot of ad-libbing and banter with members of the audience, but where the structure of the show suffered that live buzz of feeling in the moment made up for it. With Ryan's quick intelligence we hope appearances on shows like HIGNFY or Mock the Week aren't long coming; after all, they really do need to up their quotient of women comedians. Sorry: comedians.
Katherine Ryan: Little Miss Conception is on at the Soho Theatre, Dean Street W1 until Saturday 3rd December, 10pm. Tickets are £10. We saw this show on a press ticket.