Reviews - Fringe 2019

Clit Wit! A Feminist Rude Awakening/Shoddy Feminist

By Alison Nicholson
Published August 06, 2019


I can't remember a time when I was not influenced by feminism. Shirley Chisholm, Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan (my Mum read The Feminine Mystique) were household names when I was graduating high school. These woman with others formed the National Women's Political Caucus in 1971 and their influence is still felt today.

Those of us who grew up in the "burn the bra" movement became inspired again with the recent Me too and other women's gatherings. It's like we are earnestly recovering what got us all fired up in the first place. Clit Wit embraces the ideals with a sense of realism which were not a free pass for all and failed often women of colour and the LGBTQ2S communities.

The main stage provides the opportunity to use the large screen and for the most part Colette uses it to an advantage. The audience moves into her active imagination on ripples of calm blue like the lapping of water on the shores. Visuals are often tricky and like using a prop or an accent, consistency becomes key.

Kendal delivers her memories with rapier wit, from the perils of pubescence to maternal madness. Squeezed between her mother and daughter, she claims her space in what we refer to as the sandwich generation. There is an internal dialogue here that draws on her own understanding of feminism and where it intersects with both her mother and daughter.

As a fledgling, her daughter is about to embark on her own life and the wisdom imparted is just as important to the Mom as it is to the grown child. The audience gets this and many of us can identify with the growing pains of fighting for our own autonomy.

Letting it all hang out, Colette reveals every grey hair earned and she is damn worth it, contrary to what the beauty industry has to say. Colette stands out as not only a great comedian and writer but a guiding force among women in the community. New emerging writers benefit from her mentoring and encouragement.

The Staircase was a showcase to "must see" acts in this years' Fringe, for which in no small part Colette is responsible. This venue was always a buzz of gathering, conversation and cold beer on a hot day.

Clit Wit demonstrates a woman coming to terms with a new chapter in her life, much like previous Fringe performance The Cockwhisperer, which makes one ponder what Colette has in store for her audience in the future. I want to be there.

Alison recently wrote and performed, "Love, Loss and the shit in between" for Mind Play at the Staircase, Main Stage and has performed stand-up sketches for the Hammer First Timers at 'Zylas'. Acting credits include; "The Importance of Being Ernest," "Cakewalk," "Top Girls," "She Stoops to Conquer," "The Maids," and directed; "The Rivals," and "The House of Bernarda Alba." Alison directed "Der Zug" for the Hamilton Fringe written by Valerie Kay. The Pearl produced Alison's first original play "A Certain Slant of Light," directed by Annalee Flint. Alison reviewed the Fringe Gallery performances for the Hub in 2018. Alison's first Fringe experience was in Edinburgh, as lighting tech for the San Quentin Drama Workshop from the US. A graduate of McMaster University, Drama, Emmanuel College, U of T, and Niagara College school of technical theatre.

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