Katherine Ryan’s life has changed a lot since the last time she took her stand-up show on the road. The 2019 tour, which had a date filmed for the Netflix special, Glitter Room saw Ryan advocating for single motherhood. She rejected the idea of the nuclear family and strongly advised single mothers that their family unit doesn’t need a male addition. By the end of that same year, she had entered into a civil partnership with her childhood sweetheart, Bobby Kootstra. Such a quick turnaround is not something that went unaddressed in her most recent stand-up show, the appropriately titled, Missus.
The title focuses on her changed relationship status which was a topic of much discussion during her hour and ten-minute set at Glasgow’s Pavilion Theatre. “I used to be kinda cool. Now I’m a man’s wife” Ryan sarcastically winced in her wonderfully self-deprecating manner. She was able to show that despite the changes in her romantic life, her usual form of dry wit and deadpan humour has not faded in the slightest. Her hilarious stories involving her 12-year-old daughter, Violet remained, along with a new variety of humorous tales of her newfound married life and rediscovered love. “I told my sister, I’m gonna bang him for a laugh” is how she described the rekindling of her and Bobby’s romantic relationship. Evidently, the title of ‘wife’ has not stripped Ryan of the unfiltered bravado that has endeared her to the British public for the better part of a decade.
That is not to say that her comedy hasn’t evolved. She spoke candidly about jokes she’s previously made about minorities. On top of this, she addressed a sketch involving her portraying Beyonce – something she now regrets. It’s these parts of her show that make Katherine’s style of stand-up so compelling. By pointing out and celebrating the fact that in today’s climate it is only considered acceptable to make fun of straight white men. She was able to wonderfully combine her razor-sharp wit with poignant social commentary. Which is to be expected at a Katherine Ryan show and she certainly delivered. Her ability to point out social injustice in such a whimsical manner is unparalleled.
Katherine has the uncanny ability to make uncomfortable or traumatic experiences seem amusing. She recounted the terrifying experience of her house being burgled, with such a nonchalance that it seemed light-hearted. She describes attempting to delay the birth of her second child until the next morning, so that she could reap the full benefits of the “posh hospital” that she had paid for. It’s stories as out there and ridiculous as these that make going to her show such a joy. She seems to amass hilarious anecdotes no matter what stage of her life she is in. For that reason, I cannot think of anyone I’d rather follow around for a day more than Katherine Ryan
After almost ten years on our television screens, it doesn’t look like Katherine is slowing down any time soon. Last night’s show was proof that she has longevity as a comedian and that her act will always have room to evolve alongside her.
Written by Sean Gallagher