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Not Yet Suffragette review at Underbelly, Edinburgh – ‘sluggish and inconsistent feminist comedy’

Natalie Cutler in Not Yet Suffragette at Underbelly, Bristo Square Natalie Cutler in Not Yet Suffragette at Underbelly, Bristo Square

Somewhere between lecture, cabaret and stand-up, Natalie Cutler’s one-woman show Not Yet Suffragette gives a history lesson on women’s rights, battles and issues. But the show’s low energy and reedy laughs need work, as Cutler’s salient points are sometimes lost.

With a few props and simple costume changes, Cutler covers a swath of women’s 20th-century experiences: from Flora Sandes, who was the only female solider officially to fight in the First World War, to quoting a sex education pamphlet from the 1960s instructing women to prioritise their husband’s pleasure.

She then shifts gears to figure out sarcastically what is even left for women to fight for in the 21st century since we have it all. Don’t worry, she has a list.

While the history-focused first half of the show has an arc, it could benefit from stronger production elements and firmer direction. But in the second half, Cutler jabs at women over their general embrace of weddings and babies with a hectoring tone that threatens to undo her efforts.

She ends with a musical number that addresses horrific experiences of women in El Salvador. This is an important global issue that could be the focus of its own show, but here it’s presented with little context.

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Verdict
Inconsistent tone and sluggish production derail potentially interesting comedic feminist history lecture
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