Comedy Review: Margaret Cho – FRESH OFF THE BLOAT – The Lowry, Salford

Margaret Cho: Fresh Off the Bloat

Margaret Cho is back and more outspoken than ever in her new show FRESH OFF THE BLOAT

She’s back, fresh off the bloat and fresh out of an 18 month stint in rehab following a surprise intervention by family and friends to which, having been told it was an impromptu birthday party, she brought wine!

Her time convalescing whilst in rehab was obviously spent working on new material and given the current political climate, Trump administration and sexual assault allegation revelations coming out all over the US, Canada and the UK she is not short for inspiration and was completely unafraid to shout it, in hilarious fashion, from the rooftops! Openly a survivor of assault and a staunch advocate for women’s rights, she had a list of status-abusing celebrities to shame and did not fail to deliver.

An apology for the American vote sets of the start of a tirade of jibes aimed at the current ‘pussy-grabber’ president. Her disbelief at the elevation of this creep to leader of the adoptive country she calls home. Harvey Weinstein is next, with a revelation that only at the hands of his rape allegation does this give her a smidgeon of empathy for Gwyneth Paltrow and even then, that’s at a push. Cho then moves on to Bill Cosby and Kevin Spacey, no one is safe, Cho is defiant and is not going to let it go until they’re all banged up, her own cynical humour puts her point across without it coming off as preachy and she although there is the shock factor as to how blunt she is about her past experiences of abuse she doesn’t come off as a victim at any point whatsoever.

Unashamedly open about her sexuality and the fact that she is the B in the LGBT community, the B sometimes being silent, but not her, she shares with the audience some very frank and graphic scenarios of situations she has found herself in, she is boldly attempting to break down taboos in all areas.

Explaining about her love of drugs she talks about getting wasted with celebrity friends such as Courtney Love, giving her kudos for her decades long attempts to out pervert Harvey Weinstein but never able to have the allegations taken seriously because, hey, she’s Courtney Love!

Joan Rivers comes up, Cho’s obvious adoration of her late sister comic and her citing Joan’s constant quips and playful disgust at Cho’s weight and appearance “If you gain any more weight, I WILL DIE!!!” Oops, RIP Joan, Cho’s bad!

Cho talks about her family, their migration to San Francisco and her incredulity that her parents bought a gay bookstore in the 70’s in San Francisco, and if you think Cho herself is cold, be advised that in reference to the aids epidemic of the 80’s where her Mother declares, “Everybody die!! Everybody die! If you survive the Aids, it’s because you’re ugly!” and you will be in no doubt (in her own words) Korean’s are the most brutal of the Asian community.

She nods at Hollywood’s whitewashing of Asian roles, Woody Allen’s casting of Emma Stone and Scarlett Johansson in Asian roles, American actor David Carradine’s replacement of Bruce Lee in the 80’s series Kung Fu because what audience in their right mind would think Lee was believable as a Chinese Kung Fu master?!? The show is not for the politically correct!

Cho keeps it flowing consistently, her wicked sense of humour and her outspoken convention-bashing opinions aggressively shared with her audience who absolutely love it, even when her jokes are dangerously close to the line bordering on ‘too much’ or ‘too soon’, can’t help but guffaw after an initial sharp intake of breath.

The support act Rocco Slowe lives up to his name, it is almost painful to watch his act and it does not translate well at all.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Margaret Cho: FRESH OFF THE BLOAT played at The Lowry on 30 November 2017.