28 January 2017
Reviewed by Ann Durrell
Now on tour following a sell-out run at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe, Ginger is the New Black is James Wilson-Taylor’s effort to ‘end the bullying and rebrand gingers’. The show was held in the Studio at The Lowry, the smallest of the venue’s theatres. Unsurprisingly, as the title suggests, the show centres around those with red hair. We hear of the persecution they suffer along with stereotypes or myths such as all red heads are vampires or are of a fiery temperament.
Wilson-Taylor entered onto the stage to a background of X-Factor music and then launched into an amusing Ed Sheeran Parody. I am guessing he is not a massive fan! No one can deny though that Sheeran has done a great deal to improve the street cred of ‘Gingers’. I like him anyway…
The rest of the show consists of funny tales and songs with Wilson-Taylor on his ukulele or keyboard. There is a musical ditty of insults he has been subjected to over the years from carrot top to B&Q, it seemed to go down especially well with the audience. As a Harry Potter fan, the rebranding of Ron Weesly into a Sex Symbol including a song and dance routine was particularly good. The audience all got on their feet to join in and two ‘wiling’ volunteers joined Wilson-Taylor on stage.
There was a smattering of heckling from some over enthusiastic middle aged audience members on the front row. We were treated to one of their tramp stamps which read ‘Ginger’, I think they may have over done the grape juice slightly. When the rest of us were cringing at their comments Wilson-Taylor shut them down. Eventually they were instructed just to shut the funk up, words echoed by the rest of the audience. If you are going to try and heckle at a comedy show, please at least try and make it clever or amusing, preferably both!
Apparently 13% of the population are redheads, the proportion in the audience I would say was significantly higher. I think those with red hair may find it funnier as they would be able to relate more. Overall I enjoyed the hour, I wasn’t doubled up laughing but it was funny. Would I go again? Probably not, but I now know a lot more about red heads than before!
James Wilson-Talyor is currently on tour around the UK with Ginger is the New Black, for more information find him on Twitter.
For other shows at The Lowry visit www.thelowry.com.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000