Conway is a vivacious performer who does not shy away from the grotesque. Her style borders on absurdist, but she does nothing but ‘keep it real’. Amongst the craziness is some poignant feminist commentary that is earnest and insightful. Her unhinged persona is very fun to watch, and the unpredictable nature of her material works to her advantage by catching the audience off-guard with uninhibited sexual content.
Amongst the craziness is some poignant feminist commentary
The most successful moments in Conway’s hour are her remarks about male hygiene. These are outrageous but ring so true to the stereotypical dynamic in heterosexual romantic partnerships, making us squeal in both shock and laughter. Her content could be described as marmite, making you either shudder or shake with the giggles.
I don’t like to get political, but the one concern I have about Conway’s show is its potential to alienate the male audience. As someone who is female-identifying and cis-gendered, her comedy is easy for me to connect with and enjoy. Feminism is a philosophy that I hope most prescribe to, and the fewer people that are segregated from that philosophy, the more successful it becomes. Should this premise be accepted, it would arguably be most effective to avoid hindering the feminist mission by expressing one’s feminism in a manner that does not run the risk of turning men away in anger. Laughing at the male expense is fun at first, but for the majority of a comedy set, it makes me nervous for backlash.
In spite of this, Conway’s final message is a powerful one that is vital for female-identifying folk but would also benefit from males heeding it. If we permit actions in the bedroom that centre around the male experience and place female pleasure as secondary, how are we supposed to combat inequality in the public sphere?
Overall, Eleanor Conway: Talk Dirty To Me is a guaranteed laugh for anyone who has struggled with the pains of heterosexual love and desire, particularly if you identify as female.