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ED FRINGE REVIEW Tiff Stevenson, Mother

★ ★ ★ ★

Credit: Steve Ullathorne

A much-needed hour of stand-up which delivers big laughs alongside powerful messages, skilfully and with apparent ease.


For her latest hour Mother, Tiff Stevenson talks about being working class, wanting women to make their own choices and what it's like being a stepmother in a blended family. Which is refreshing because unless you're Queen Grimhilde from Snow White or Janine Butcher from EastEnders, stepmothers aren't that well represented and certainly not spoken about much in comedy.


As a proud feminist, Tiff feels the need (and I understand why) to dispel the misogynist myth that all feminists hate men by explaining how she's surrounded by brilliant men - her fiancé and his son - and that what she strives for is equality. Feminism benefits both sides of the gender spectrum and she does well to remind audiences this.


Growing up working class, Tiff recognises the importance of a middle-class accent and how things might have been different if she spoke like Joanna Lumley - an impression Tiff is very good at.


Earlier this year, Tiff witnessed a Starbucks employee denying a pregnant woman of her Caramel Macchiato, offering to make her a decaf because "caffeine is bad for the baby". Uncomfortable with yet another example of men making decisions for women, Tiff took to Twitter to tell the story of what happened, it went viral and the fallout forms a large part of her show.


Pro-choice, Tiff is at her most powerful and passionate when speaking about abortion laws. Not letting an anti-choice/pro-life group in America boycott her show, reveals how she fell pregnant in 17 and chose to terminate her pregnancy and lays out how abortion laws which were once there to protect women are now there to control them.


Motherhood is about much more than being a biological mother and this is something which Tiff articulates beautifully throughout Mother making for a much-needed hour of stand-up which delivers big laughs alongside powerful messages, skilfully and with apparent ease.


Tiff Stevenson: Mother runs until 25th August at 9.15pm at Monkey Barrel Comedy (Monkey Barrel 3). Book tickets here.

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