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Photo: Keith Toms

Fringe Review: CLIT WIT!

By Barbara Popel on June 16, 2018

Photo: Keith Toms

CLIT WIT!
by Collette Kendall

60 min / Comedy, Storytelling / Mature

There were a few (brave!) men in the opening night audience for CLIT WIT! Most of us were women; the male/female ratio was about 1:8. I got the feeling that the women were ready to rock—let’s have some raunchy feminist humour tonight!

Based on the number of times I heard audience laughter during Colette Kendall’s stand-up routine, we were disappointed. Often, no one laughed at all. Sometimes, there were only a few guffaws. Only towards the end did most of us burst out laughing. Too little, too late.

Her material deals with the usual suspects—(hetero)sexuality, body image, her relationship with her mother/daughter/father/spouse, her first crush, and becoming middle-aged.

The title promises wit, and Kendall does occasionally deliver. Wit doesn’t usually elicit uproarious laughter, just smiles and chuckles. Her witticisms did so for me. I liked her line about her brain “not allowed to have Sigmund Freud over without Karen Horney.” I loved her riff on her middle-aged friends repeating the mantra “I don’t care anymore!” Yup, that’s absolutely true in my life! But Kendall aims mostly for broad (pun intended) humour, not wit. And it doesn’t land often enough.

Moreover, Kendall has the annoying habit of pausing after each punch line, waiting for the audience to respond. When they don’t laugh, the pause draws attention to the fact that she’s expecting us to. Awkward.

A small thing… For an experienced comedienne, she had trouble using her lapel mic. I’m not sure why she thought a microphone was necessary, as she seems to have a powerful voice and the theatre has good acoustics.

Stand-up comedy is very difficult to do well. If you doubt me, just visit an open mic session at your local comedy club. Whatever “secret sauce” comediennes like Sandra Shamus have, based on what I saw, I don’t think Kendall has it.


CLIT WIT! by Collette Kendall is playing at La Nouvelle Scène Studio B (333 King Edward Ave) until Sunday June 24, 2018. Tickets cost $12. Visit ottawafringe.com for the schedule and box office info. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.