I do have one thing in common with Alastair Campbell. We both have daughters called Grace, around a similar age, who don’t want to follow us into our chosen professions.
Grace Campbell has chosen to make her mark through stand up comedy, although I would argue that she is actually making a very political statement by doing this, whilst my Grace is treading in her father’s musical footsteps, an equally challenging choice.
Now that’s out of the way (and it was one of the reasons why I wanted to see this show) my second reason is that I have a penchant for politically motivated comedy. Culture is a direct reflection of what is going on in society, even if it’s one that I don’t particularly like or feel confident about at the moment. Laughing at the mess we’re in and examining how we got here from the perspective of somebody who grew up on the sidelines very much appealed to me.
Lastly, I have met Alastair Campbell several times, once at the peak of his megalomania at the side of a media magnate, and more recently talking movingly about the stigma of mental health at a marketing industry event. I was curious to see how his daughter had turned out.
Quite well, as is transpires. Grace puts the ‘gangsta’ into her privileged champagne socialist upbringing in this funny, witty and well-constructed show. She could easily dispense with the shock tactics of saying things about her love of masturbation and how she had wanted to do this on stage but wasn’t allowed. The rest of her material is funny and shocking enough to make her mark.
I could easily have heard more about being a precocious child living in the cocoon of the political environment that gave birth to New Labour and what it’s really like being the daughter of Alastair ‘angry-now-sober’ Campbell and his high achieving wife Fiona Millar.
Our kids have the best and worst of us in their genes and Grace’s biggest asset is her likeability and her self-mocking love of being an attention seeker. Even as a small girl at the feet of world leaders, she had an opinion. I loved her story about telling the wife of an oligarch to shop for shoes at Clarks rather than swanky Bond Street boutiques!
It’s a shame Grace doesn’t want to go into politics. I’d vote for her any day!
Grace Campbell: Why I’m Never Going into Politics is at the Gilded Balloon Teviot at 15:15 until 26th August. For tickets and more information click here!
There’s still time to nominate a women-led show for the 2019 Funny Women Awards’ Best Show Category! The show with the most nominations will be picked! Nominate a show you have seen or your own show by 31st August here!