Catherine Semark: Shadow Ape
When Catherine Semark takes to the stage, all crazy-haired, and explains that she’s wearing a loose, funky shirt, because she’s gained weight by eating too much toast, I admit that my first thought was ‘please don’t make this another show about how tough it is to be an ageing single woman.’
Thankfully, Semark proves me wrong, with an amusing, intelligent 50-minute set of thoughtful observations on everything from mondegreens (the title of her show is a misinterpretation of lyrics from the Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter) to theatrics of peeing at McDonald’s. A comfortable performer, she seamlessly weaves her way between ridiculous websites dedicated to dogs in shells and addressing sexist AA repairmen.
While I initially feared female clichés, her funniest material ends up being quite lady-centric – especially when she pulls out Magnetic Girls Talk Words, magnets expressing “favourite girl words,” such as 'clothes', 'ballet' and 'bunnies,' then attempts to use that vocabulary only in a scenario involving an STI exam.
Semark proves you don’t have to be the cliché, but you can certainly make fun of it.