Catherine Bohart

Catherine Bohart

'The OCD, bisexual offspring of a Catholic deacon', Catherine Bohart got through to the finals of the BBC New Comedy Awards in 2016.
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© Raphael Neal

Catherine Bohart: Again, With Feelings

Review of the new stand-up show from a comic contemplating motherhood

Thirty-five years old, living in a houseshare, with a patchy relationship history and fretting about unrealised life expectations – having children especially. Welcome to the content of about 98 per cent of all stand-up shows ever.

Only Catherine Bohart’s so good at this that she rejuvenates the early midlife crisis confessional. Her material – full of cynical wit and disdainful attitude – often self-immolating – and yet delivered with compelling vim, never feels tired nor clichéd. That this story starts with her sitting on the bus with a squirrel corpse, which she paid good (if silly) money for, is testament to that.

Odd behaviour aside, Again, With Feelings beats to the ticking of Bohart’s biological clock, amplified by her typically pushy Irish mother, desperate for grandchildren – and, in another surreal detail, obsessed with her own, non-impeding, death.

As for the comic, she’s in a promising relationship – at last – but isn’t ready to make that motherhood decision quite yet. Being in a same-sex couple throws up a lot of questions her straight counterparts never have to address and which provide fuel for her autobiographical routines – from how they can never have an ‘accidental’ pregnancy to the fraught discussions yet to be had about who would carry any baby. 

The age gap between her younger girlfriend is also amusingly exploited with Bohart expected to be the adult in the pair, as well as finding that six years is almost a generational gap, sometimes.

She loves gossip and willingly shares embarrassing anecdotes in the spirit of chatty oversharing, which is her endearing style. But not all is at her own expense, and she proves a queen of passive-aggression, barely concealing her disdain behind that breezy charm. Witness her pretending to be chill about so much that clearly riles her, from her housemates’ crockery to the fact these tour shows have been advertised as ‘relaxed’ performances. Ever-tense Bohart does not do relaxed – and that’s a good thing, for it’s her fast-talking mania that drives the comedy at quite the crack.

She also proves skilful at crowd interactions, though she uses this gift only sparingly. With dismissive responses and a metaphorical arched eyebrow, the gag is that she is constantly humouring whoever she’s speaking to – especially the woman in Soho Theatre tonight whom Bohart is convinced is in denial about her lesbianism. 

Yet while the Irishwoman jokes that she’s playing to a demographic almost entirely comprising similarly-aged women, many queer, Again, With Feelings describes a universal position, but with a distinctive twist. And when delivered by a stand-up in such command of her material, and of the room that she holds so rapt, it’s a real delight. 

• Catherine ​Bohart: Again, With Feelings is at the Soho Theatre until March 23, ahead of a run at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and then a UK tour kicking off in May. Catherine Bohart tour dates.

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Published: 7 Mar 2024


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