Bringing ‘Talk to Dirty’ to me back to the Fringe for a second year, Eleanor Conway is a woman on a mission. Conway’s hour-long set is as much a comedy show as it is a manifesto for female pleasure and equality, demonstrating that the personal is political and that inequality in private lives bleeds into public spheres. That Conway can do this with palpable passion and drive without it turning into a preaching session is testimony to her skill and wit as a comedian. She is able to win over a crowd with her wicked attitude and a personal history that she wears on her sleeve throughout.
Conway is an animated, commanding figure, brandishing impressively shiny black stilettos matched only by the glint in her eye. She is an infectious presence, but also a powerful storyteller, able to shift her scenes from obscene (but great) jokes to something more sincere without hitting a bung note. There are guffaws and belly laughs aplenty, especially when Conway turns to more risque and outlandish punch lines – situations where too many other comics would fail to rouse a reaction from the crowd.
Her set covers motherhood, free labour, and… let’s call it personal hygiene. She speaks from the heart as much as from the brain, drawing on her own experiences to let out a battle cry in support of equal pleasure in relationships and what this means for gender equality in general. Sex positivity is far from an afterthought here, but is instead etched into the very bedrock of the show.
At times breathlessly funny and almost always compelling to listen to, Talk Dirty to Me is another showcase of Conway’s comedic prowess. Effortlessly charismatic and more than happy to push some buttons, this is a show of real intelligence, awareness, and emotion lurking playfully behind a facade of bathroom jokes and awkward moments. Far from being a bad thing, Conway would likely have it no other way.
‘Talk Dirty to Me’ runs until Sun 27 Aug 2023 at Laughing Horse @The Three Sisters – Maggie’s Chamber at 19:00