There is something deliciously attractive about a stand-up comedian who is completely unafraid of what anybody might think. Conway leans comfortably into oversharing from the very first moment, gleefully smashing any and all British tendencies towards prudishness with her tales of disappointing sexual encounters. She kicks off with some statistics on the inequalities between heterosexual men and women when it comes to orgasming during sex. This part of the show is a little dry, but I understand why she includes it; the fact that only 4% of heterosexual women reach orgasm during one-night stands is quite depressing, and acts as the fuel for the fire that burns - albeit sporadically - throughout the show.
Endearing in her obscenities, Conway is a natural performer, and the audience laughs easily, happily on her side. She confronts some uncomfortable truths: things we aren’t usually allowed to say without lots of prefacing and justification (no, not all men, yes, there are good men out there, etc., etc.). Perhaps it is my own personal biases towards women who don’t pander to the fragile male ego, but her bluntness is refreshing, and all too necessary.
Because wrapped up in the jokes about personal hygiene and graphic depictions of masturbation lie some important truths. There are lots of men who hate women. Our society is built on men who hate women. And those men aren’t just selfish in the bedroom, they also appear in their droves - usually online - the moment any woman dares to enjoy herself and live her best life without a man being involved. Conway would know; she’s heard from most of them. They criticise her, accuse her of hating men (the hypocrisy is comical) and deliver what, to them, is the lowest possible blow any woman could ever receive: no man would ever want to sleep with her. Which, Conway points out, is literally never true.
Through comedy, chaos and camaraderie, Conway seeks to empower women to embrace such insults - powerless though they may be - and bask in the glory of womanhood and all the ways we can be whole without a man.
It’s Conway’s refreshing devil-may-care attitude, and her positive and important message, that makes her set so enjoyable. Yes, her frantic energy (while admirable in its consistency across the hour) does occasionally overwhelm her and detract from her delivery, but Conway is fun and likeable, and gloriously relatable. Perhaps not to a lot of men, but I’m pretty sure she’s not bothered. And why should she be.
You can find out more about Eleanor Conway and any upcoming shows here.