Published On: Thu, Aug 25th, 2011 at 11:27am

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Review: News at Kate (****)

The beauty of the Fringe is that sometimes you can go into a free show on impulse and discover a very funny stand-up comedienne such as Kate Smurthwaite. Her material is well structured, up to date, with a wry observation of life and a lot is based on her experiences as a professional arguer for the BBC. The audience loved her show and at times were falling about laughing.

Kate was very approachable and worked well talking to the audience but she did not pick on one particular person and then proceed to ‘make fun of them for the entire show’ like some comedians. The show has one or two adult themes with a little swearing, however this should not put you off what is a very fluid show. Some of her views are left wing and potentially controversial, but then it seems that sailing close to the wind is one of her specialties! Gags such as: “Dear bus users, can we all carry our bus passes in our front pockets and get them out before boarding? This will save 6 years of my life!” are typical of her craft.

Go see News at Kate in Ciao Roma daily at 8.20pm until 29th Aug.


About the Author

- Thomas Haywood is a freelance photographer producing great royalty-free images in Scotland.

Displaying 6 Comments
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  1. Gargamel says:

    Comedy gold! did she actually write that gag herself? OMG I’ve become incontinent

    Here it is again folks, possibly the wittiest bit of observational proletarian humour ever “Dear bus users, can we all carry our bus passes in our front pockets and get them out before boarding? This will save 6 years of my life!” Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaah stop it you’re KILLING me

    Bus users, they get my goat too, and I’m politically right on and actually am one of them myself sometimes so I can comment without being called a lefty bigot

    Well done Ms Smurfweight, let’s have some more of that comedy gold

  2. Azreal says:

    I find Ms Smurfwaites ‘Sailing close to the wind’ brand of humour very offensive.
    I am a bus user with a rare pocket phobia that Doctors have told me will knock off 6 years of my life!
    Comedy gold my pocket!

  3. Balthazar says:

    I was one of those punters lucky enough to be “falling about laughing” at this perky young lassies free show, she’s such a comedic sharp wit that she truly puts the MURTH in Smurthwaite

    There’s little wonder the BBC employ her to argue for them, she really does have a tongue as sharp as her natural observational wit which truly put a strain on my poor old bladder

    As a regular bus user I could have easily taken offense to her signature gag which is demeaning of bus pass users however a relative of mine says he heard her doing this as a closing routine in her London set and she used “Tube” instead of bus and “Oyster Card” interchangeably

    My sides and ribs are still quite sore from the killer “this will save 6 years of my life” punchline and even if she does sail close to the wind with her unique brand of dry observational leftist humor, I for one shall be rooting for her

    Well done Kate! hope to see you soon arguing professionally on the BBC

  4. Thanks for the lovely review. I don’t normally add comments under reviews of my own work… But just to say the gag about bus users – glad you liked it – isn’t really my signature joke. In fact of never told it onstage. I told it once on twitter in the “tube-oyster” version and then it’s in a little ‘zine (in the now-legendary “bus” version) I leave out on chairs before my show for punters to read while I’m moving furniture about before the show. I do have plans to write a tram version but they are currently on hold.

  5. Its me, look says:

    I can detect the whiff of sarcasm in some of these comments and its prompted me to say my piece. As a genuine Kate fan I can tell you that her signature gag isnt about bus passes at all. Its ‘Ive read this in the papers….12% of Americans think Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife…….no, Americans, she wasnt Noah’s wife, she was a French woman so we burnt her………its Ok though, I can be nasty to Americans as Im married to one’. So enough with this nonsense about the bus pass thing, thats the lesser gag in her repertoire – feast instead on the above comedy manna!!

    Dont worry if youve missed her and this gag though – catch it next time she does a show over the next rest of her career.

  6. Chlorhydris says:

    So she’s a feminist AND married? how novel! please don’t tell me she’s also an athiest who married this American male fellow thing in a church of all places? good heavens! for one who talks the talk she doesn’t seem to be walking the walk much

    Manna is an interesting word to use for the material you mentioned above seeing as it means God given sustenance, hardly an appropriate label for the material of a campaigning “Atheist comedienne” I’m sure you’ll agree, please don’t upset her with any further religious labels will you?

    Denigrating French women and Americans is more than a tad racist in my book, essentially the message here is “Americans are thick, we burnt a French woman because she was French” nice victimless comedy?

    Finally a fellow feminist might like the way she has already started to emasculate her poor foreign husband by essentially calling a large part of his nation “dumb” but by going on to state that being married to one somehow gives her free license to “be nasty” to him is really bringing out the true colours of her misandry

    I think Kate should cut out all the hateful stuff and focus more on her lampoon of the users of public transport

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