Home Truths is Kiri Pritchard-McLean’s love letter to Wales and, to a lesser extent, the global village at large. There’s fun, mischief and glee with a dash of deliciously dark humour, all coming together with a social conscience that leads from the front.
Pritchard-McLean comfortably occupies her space. Sparkling with sequins and punchlines, her years as a great MC sees her with a strong reassuring connection from start to finish. She is also aware of the space she inhabits with her platform, both physically – addressing those at the side of her with a nod, a wink and a tangent that artfully brings in merch with a plethora of punchlines – and metaphorically. The privilege and voice she has because of who she is is acknowledged before the show even begins, as we are informed with a small piece of paper and a badge that all funds from this show are going to help performers less well off than Pritchard-McLean. There’s a fierce Mama Bear here, with a big laugh and a bigger awareness, utilising the tools of her trade to bring attention to injustices and inequalities, with a quality collection of hilarious similes and vivd imagery.
Pritchard-McLean draws delicious pictures with her words, conjuring up images of benevolent envy for the effortlessly androgynous, and a fish out of water in post-lockdown plus-size high street shopping that stands alone as a highlight of observational comedy. Grotesquely compulsively entertaining sentences are a magical forté of hers.
Really though, the star is Wales. Pritchard-McLean is re-embracing her Welsh roots. She goes misty-eyed making locations of adolescent escapades national treasures in her return to her childhood stamping ground. Rejecting the risk of sentimentality with some well placed lairiness, she sincerely loves this place. And this is where the focus turns to history and education.
Having warmed the room she strikes to the heart of the matter – The Welsh Knot. A colonial abuse within the boundaries of the UK’s own land. She owns the uncomfortable air that falls, then thickens it further – turning the focus onto British colonial dirty history at large, and the anti-racist responsibility she acknowledges as her own.
Although sparser, there are still jokes here – metaphors that serve not only to entertain but also to double down on the important points she is making, before returning to safer ground with a bawdy tale of self-reflection.
Home Truths has heart, soul, and a wicked smile through massive lashes.
Kiri Pritchard-McLean – Home Truths
Monkey Barrel 3, 3-28 August 2022