Comedy Angel Campey, the only female stand-up comic in town

Angel Campey, the only female stand-up comic in town

In a male-dominated industry, stand-up female comics are few and far between. However, the likes of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey have proved to be as equally good as their male counterparts at having the gift of the gab and have made progress into the acceptance of women in comedy.

Cape Town-based comedian Angel Campey of Yes really, Angel is currently in her third run at the National Arts Festival. Although she says cynics don’t expect to find her funny, they are pleasantly surprised when she is even a little funny. She draws on gender discourses at the start of her show, pointing to her research on feminism as it has grown from the 1970s into the 21st Century.

Angel Campey performs in Yes Really, Angel, at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, 04 July 2015. This will be the show's final run at the National Arts Festival. (Photo: CuePix/Tamani Chithambo)

Angel Campey performs in Yes Really, Angel, at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, 04 July 2015. This will be the show’s final run at the National Arts Festival. (Photo: CuePix/Tamani Chithambo)

She teases at popular culture with groups such as the Spice Girls and Beyoncé, but triumphantly shows how these musicians have made the world a better place for women. Campey asks the audience, “How many women in the audience are independent?” This is evidently important to her, and is the reason why she has spoken out against the abuse of women and children in our society. She is currently an ambassador for the Blow the Whistle campaign and has featured in Marie Claire’s Naked Issue.

Campey also draws on apartheid’s racial discourses and mocks white privilege, because she believes that it is important to recognise the past and air out the dirty laundry. It is daunting to do this when interpretation can elicit a brutal backlash, but Campey’s wit and charm gives her script a casual feel. It is not a debate; it is rather a desire to plant the seed in one’s mind that gender and race are issues that need to be addressed in South Africa.

After laying this foundation, she pokes fun at herself and how the conception of her real name, Angel, taunted her in high school and in her career. She jokes about stripping and glitter – the kind of things that people assume are associated with her. She integrates these sexist ideals with notions of race by sharing experiences of her life growing up in Durban and teaching English in South Korea.

Campey’s laid-back approach is refreshing. And yes, she is really funny. It is highly likely that she will return to the festival next year with a brand new show. Go show support for the only female stand-up comic in town.

Leave a Reply


Latest CueTube video

Twitter

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in D:\iis\cue\wp-content\plugins\gantry\core\gantrygzipper.class.php on line 153