It’s ironic—if telling—that when you first start typing ‘Megan Ford’ into Google you’re instantly hit with an influx of stuff about Megan Fox, an actress who clearly gets googled rather a lot (most of it searches for saucy images, presumably).
This is Ford’s focus, the treatment of women in modern media, particularly here and in the States. The now London-based American comic sports a sleeveless shirt (not a ‘wife-beater’, no) that sums up this show’s aims pretty succinctly: “Well, the patriarchy isn’t going to fuck itself.” Indeed, and this is a surprisingly accessible way to start fucking it, although the stupendous Ford isn’t afraid to abruptly cut the laughs mid-routine by wielding the mighty hammer of unpleasant truth.
A bewilderingly confident comic, singer, writer, actress, rapper – you name it – Ford gives a masterclass in how to run a character show here: she marches on like a regular standup, uses sketches to illustrate the overall theme, and some excellent piped-in audio skits for the tricky changing-backstage moments. Those characters veer from a right-wing potential congresswoman to a teen vlogger, all surfing different aspects of sexist awfulness: internet trolls, patronising interviewers, stay-home-to-stay-safe advice.
Ford is brash and frenetic but there are depths to her seemingly daft personas, well-observed behavioural quirks and linguistic tics that, admittedly, won’t be picked up by everyone, what with sections of the audience looking slightly shell-shocked. Everyone should pick up the excellent fanzine she gives away at the end though, a lovingly crafted bit of homework, because an hour just isn’t enough to change the world.