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Review: The Guilty Feminist at Nuffield Theatre

On the 22nd of April, the Nuffield Theatre on Highfield Campus was lucky enough to welcome The Guilty Feminist to its stage. For this blog post I thought I would review the fantastic show I was fortunate enough to see, showing everyone out there that Southampton really is the hub of fresh culture you didn’t expect it to be.

What does the word ‘ego’ mean to you? For me, unfortunately, the first thing that sprang to mind was Freud. I felt myself transported back in time to my A-Level Psychology days, when I endured many lessons about Freud and his id, superego and unconscious – all of which I had managed to successfully repress up until that point. (Read into that what you will…)

The Guilty Feminist burst into the Nuffield last weekend; a sold out show. Hundreds gathered on our beloved campus to get into the nitty gritty of exactly what it means to be a feminist in the 21st century – hypocrisies and all. For those of you unaware, The Guilty Feminist is a feminist comedy podcast hosted by renowned comedian and activist, Deborah Frances-White. Since its launch in 2015, The Guilty Feminist has become a global phenomenon. Touring from country to country, and with over 25 million downloads, Deborah and her panel of guests educate listeners about the fight for the equality of the sexes.


The Guilty Feminist herself: Deborah Frances-White.

This particular episode was all about ego and its relevance to an individual’s feminist advocacy. The show opened with Deborah’s usual sharp-tongued and quick witted observational humour, playfully interacting with the audience – especially the lone men who dared attend an event full of women. Deborah’s improvisation is certainly part of her charm: she’s incredibly grounded and willing to laugh at herself, and all for the cause of feminism.  In tandem with her co-host for the episode, the brilliant Kemah Bob, Deborah effortlessly set the tone for this particular podcast and its focus on ego.

As Deborah later explained, ego is an essential tool in any feminist’s arsenal; it’s what inspires us to make change.  Ego is that little part of us that reminds us that our voice matters and that we are important enough to lead the way for improvement and inspiration.  We can always look to better ourselves and those around us.

The same can very much be said of feminism: what was previously considered a ‘dirty word’ that attracted the label of ‘man hater’, or being branded a ‘feminazi’, is now gradually being understood for what it really is – the personal, political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. While progress has been made towards achieving this goal, there is still always more that can be done, for those around us and beyond that immediate sphere.


The stage set before the show officially began.

Some of what was said certainly struck a nerve with me. When we’re children, we are absolutely fearless and under the impression we’re invincible. It seems to me, at least, that as we get older, our ego becomes more vulnerable. It’s easy for that little voice that champions you to lose some of its volume as you grow up. As young people, it is important that we remember our value; we are bright and passionate, and we have the ability to inspire change regardless of scale.  There is nothing wrong with having a little pride about what we achieve and how we carry ourselves – providing it’s not too much, of course!


The evening’s fantastic panel.

I certainly learned a lot from listening to Deborah and her guests chat ego and all things feminist, and it has reminded me that I am an independent young woman who is currently looking to better myself in terms of my education and by embracing all the opportunities that come alongside it. With that said, I will always try and set myself new goals, and I will always look for opportunities to stand for what I believe in – just like the cause of feminism. A night of laughter and politics, this has been one of my favourite events at the Nuffield to date!

If you haven’t ever had the pleasure of ever listening to The Guilty Feminist, it’s well worth looking into. Episodes are available on Spotify and other streaming services. It’s also worth monitoring the latest and upcoming shows at the Nuffield – both at the City and Campus theatres. We’re incredibly lucky to have such diverse entertainment right on our doorsteps, and it is one of the many reasons I feel so fortunate to be a student at Southampton.

What productions would you like to see come to Southampton? Drop me a reply in the comment section below; I love chatting theatre!


Emily

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