Review: Susie McCabe: Femme Fatality

Susie McCabe is heartwarming and hilarious

comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 04 Aug 2023
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Susie McCabe

Susie McCabe has never been a girlie girl. And she's got hundreds of winning jokes to illustrate the fact in this beautiful hour in which she addresses perceptions of womanhood, along the way telling us what it was like growing up gay in the 1980s and 90s. 

It’s her most personal show to date, and there are moments when you’re crying as much from laughter as from the hunger conveyed in vivid descriptions of a wee “hurricane of homosexuality”, desperate for crumbs of representation in her world.

Gags about the qualifications the Glaswegian had as a bairn/wean are just outstanding, and her descriptions of depictions of homosexuality in the 80s are painfully accurate: gay men in soaps would die from Aids after three episodes, and anything about lesbians was “art”.

Such is McCabe’s skill as a storyteller that we find ourselves laughing along at the tales from her building site days when gay was a punchline (blokes will get called Liberace for the tiniest non-macho action). But what she’s cleverly doing here is forgiving those, herself included, who’ve disguised insecurities as banter in the past.

And she approaches difficult subjects such as body image and internet trolls with a delicate touch that belies how tough things must have been at times. There’s so much to adore about this show, which is brimming with wisdom, fun, warmth and hope. And so, so much laughter.