After an excellent run at last year’s Fringe with Madonna or Whore?, Holly Morgan returns to Edinburgh with a show that treads along the same lines. This time the comedian moves away from the historical objectification of women, and turns her attention instead to their historical persecution.
Morgan – joined as ever by husband Tom Moores – tells the story of ‘witches’ throughout history using shoddy props, a Powerpoint presentation and, of course, her incredible knack for impersonating legendary female singers. The brilliance of the production is in its ability to mesh these different formats in a way that never feels confusing or rushed. That’s largely down to Morgan herself – she’s a warm and likable personality, with a clear distinction between the ‘act’ and her genuine feelings.
Talk of witch-hunts inevitably leads Morgan to discuss twenty first-century persecution and American presidents but there is an abruptness to that which feels a bit jarring, as if it was tacked on. It’s when Morgan talks about her own experiences that the show is at its best though, these anecdotes acting both as comic throughline and, eventually, the emotional crescendo.
There’s a lot to like about this hour-long show, not only for its entertainment value but as an astute social commentary on the continued mistreatment of women in the modern world. However, it’s important not to trivialise that entertainment value, because this is a hilarious and fun show from a very accomplished performer.