Kathy Griffin was for the first time in Amsterdam. She is on a world tour after she was ostracized in her own country. Her world tour is a way for her to earn a living, but most of all to tell her international fans what happened to her after the Trump election. Kathy Griffin has always been een outspoken comedian and also an outspoken fighter for LGBTQI rights. In May 2017 she caused a furore when a picture was published where she held up a Trump mask covered with ketchup. People saw in this a beheaded president and called for the prosecution of Griffin. She lost a lot of work because of this and decided to tour around the world.
Kathy Griffin: the high priestess of a gay mass
We were not the only gay men in the audience. About two-thirds of the (number) fans in the hall were queer. It almost felt like a gay high mass with Kathy Griffin as the high priestess. The audience gave Kathy Griffin a rapturous reception when she entered the stage at the end of a three-minute intro video celebrating her achievements. She came on the stage in a simple blue dress, flat shoes and a surprisingly short hair cut. Kathy Griffin is mostly known for her long hair. However, when her sister got cancer she cut it of in support of her sister and other people suffering from cancer.
What followed was a 2 hours and 15 minutes one-woman comedy show without a single break! Miss Griffin took her time to tell it all. How she met Donald Trump on and off over the past 20 years at several social events and at the Suddenly Susan show. She also recalled what happened to her after the picture was published: how she was treated by the (social) media, Trumps family, other celebrities and the public.
A lot of stories in one evening
She uses the tweets and letters to crack some jokes. But despite the jokes, it is quite a harrowing story to tell and you get a look into the darker corners of modern media society. Often she uses the comments from her mother about this scandal as everyday women counterbalance to the madness of the media circus. The most chilling are the scenes she sketches about her treatment by the FBI, which was ordered to investigate her. Here you can see a darker future of a western society where free speech might be curtailed by the powers that be.
Very cleverly she interweaves these main narrative with some lighter stories. Since she moved into her new house in 2016 she has become neighbor of the Kardeshians and Kanye West. Her stories about her interactions with these people are often hilarious. She also recalls some shenanigans at parties at celebrities or with older people to lighten up the evening.
Worth to watch or get in your theatre
All in all it was a great evening. It is an amazing achievement of a top class comedian to keep an audience on the tip for so long. And the laughs kept coming from the first to the last-minute. Kathy Griffin makes it al seem very relaxed and almost improvised, but it is a very tight show. No storyline interrupted by a side story is forgotten. But one or two storylines less would have made the show even better. Her Trump story is strong enough to fill an evening and you don’t need to hear about the society parties. The jokes about the Kardeshians and the comments from her mother are enough to lighten up the darker side of the evening.
All in all a great show to watch. If she visits you on her world tour it is definitely worth to go to her show. And if you live in the US: petition your local theatre to put her on the stage.
Kathy Griffin, Laugh Your Head Off World Tour: ♦♦♦♦◊ (Four out of Five diamonds)