COMEDY REVIEW: Tiff Stevenson @ The Stand, Newcastle (28.11.21) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Thank goodness for shows like Mother. With a blend of the expected upbeat stand-up comedy and hard hitting discussions about femicide, Tiff Stevenson brings us an emotional night of laughter and honesty.

Historically, there has been an expected path to motherhood. A narrative about how all people with wombs are destined to carry 2.5 children and spend their lives behaving in a sweet and maternal way. From the get go, Tiff tells us that we will not hear that kind of story today, but begins by explaining her abortion at 17. That wasn’t the end of motherhood for her, because she has happily embraced the role of step mother.

Tiff jokes about the fairy tale visions of stepmothers, comparing her own situation to the black and white children’s book version. From Bumble the cat to the non-bio washing powder label, she made a complicated topic not only more simple, but certainly more funny. 

Her own theories about spontaneous combustion had me in fits, considering the small volcano living inside of all women, bubbling a little more with each sexist comment. I certainly related to a lot of the examples she gave, and I was reminded of times that I had felt my own volcano moving from dormant to active.

She even dealt with her own lava causing hecklers on the night. After politely asking a couple in the front to stop talking for the third time, the pair left in a huff, swearing at the surprised comedian. Rolling with the punches, Tiff began to riff off of the moment and get immediately back on track, improvising her way back into the volcanic metaphor.

A topic I was surprised to hear covered was classism and we couldn’t help laughing at the absurdity of the reality she was discussing. Considering the intersectionality of feminism, Tiff explored the changing nature of Megan Markle’s role now that she’s had to give up her control to the royal family.

The concept of being ‘incomplete’ as a woman without a partner and child is strange and still very present, and Tiff has the skill of bringing this into the forefront while still making the night fun and filled with laughter.

Not all wombs can and will carry children, but by redefining Motherhood Tiff Stevenson shows us that parenting goes beyond biology. To paraphrase her, what we decide to create, we are the parents of.

So thank you Tiff Stevenson. I feel seen. I feel understood. And I feel proud to be part of the crowd that celebrated the many different kinds of mothers.

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