reviews and recommendations

Luisa Omielan: Politics for Bitches WIP

I hope you nor I ever have to go through what Luisa Omielan has over the last six months. She openly admits that it wasn’t until her Mum died, without dignity, at the hands of the NHS that she started to care about politics. Why? Because she had to.

Luisa is currently doing a work in progress run of a show she has called Politics For Bitches, where she will break down the main issues at stake in politics, which is due to become her first TV show.

Having risen to fame with shows like What Would Beyonce Do?! and Am I Right Ladies, Luisa breathes authenticity onto the stage. What she does, especially with Politics For Bitches is unique. There’s something beautifully egalitarian about Luisa and her comedy. There’s no pretension.

She is one intelligent woman, yet builds this show around essentially being ignorant. And aren’t we all?! Do any of us know what the hell is going on with this country? Coming armed with a whiteboard, pens, her ever faithful Bernese Mountain Dog ‘Bernie Boo’ and heaps of bravery – she opens the floor to the audience.

“What don’t you understand? What do you want to talk about?” We hear terms like Brexit, Chief Whip, The Tories get shouted from the audience. Then comes “filibuster”, to which she responds “Is that spelt with an ‘f’ or a ‘ph’”? Once assured it’s with an ‘f’, she goes onto write ‘filobuster’ on her whiteboard. Was this intentional? I doubt it! What she achieves is a sense of unity and openness in the room.

Any narcissism Luisa has is left at the back door of the Soho Theatre, (where Bernie Boo soon has to go because of endless barking and attempted interaction with the audience) as she let the audience guide her show with comments, questions and at times enthusiastic debate.

It was a new and refreshing format. For those who wanted to sit back and take in some comedy without audience interaction, they could simply watch Luisa perform some prepared material and listen to her take Brexit and liken it to a game of soggy biscuit, in true Luisa fashion. Her prepared material peppered her improvisation, creating some comforting structure.

She’s not afraid to take the most serious of subject matters – tampon tax, the lack of diversity in government, toxic masculinity and more – debate them, then put a sassy and/or toilet humour twist on them. What Luisa manages to create is a sense of ‘we’re in this together’, tears of both sadness and laughter create a remarkably high – energy work in progress.