IF CELEBRITY is the new religion, as Katherine Ryan suggests, then she’s never going to be stuck for sermons to deliver on its vapidity, grubbiness and bad behaviour.
Katherine Ryan: Glam Role Model - Oran Mor, Glasgow
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Since the Canadian began performing this show at the turn of the year, the Oscar Pistorius trial has ended, famous faces like Jennifer Lawrence have seen their intimate photos leaked across the internet and a slew of rape allegations against Bill Cosby have resurfaced.
Such ongoing topicality adds impetus to Ryan’s perspective of nuanced satirical snarkiness, her love/hate relationship with celeb culture and the social media tsunami driving it crystallised in her account of upsetting singer Tulisa Contostavlos.
Highlighting parallels between the media’s takes on Contostavlos and Lawrence, while finding class-based prejudice in their respective treatment, Ryan instinctively defends women against misogyny and makes no great claims for her position as a panel show pundit.
But she’s also quick-witted and mischievous, so when Contostavlos disrespected her, she responded with sufficient waspishness to incite violent threats against the comic on Twitter, affording her a whole new insight into infamy.
Elsewhere, exchanges with the glamour model who stole her man and the role model Ryan barely attempts to be for her five-year-old daughter give her a personal stake in celebrity culture, making her more than just a wry voice on the sidelines.
Gossiping hoary conspiracy theories about the Royal Family and Jay-Z sees her further undermine her own judgment, her tongue lashed only so far into her cheek, and she brings the house crashing down with an unabashed, thigh-gyrating homage to Beyoncé.
Seen on 29.11.14