Titania McGrath – Mxnifesto Garrick Theatre, London, October 18-23
Titania McGrath is a radical feminist poet and eco-sexual who uses her exciting and confrontational ‘slam poetry’ to challenge homeless people on the streets to examine their white privilege.
Admittedly from a somewhat privileged background, this ‘simple Kensington girl with a modest trust fund’, as she describes herself, was lavished with a fine education and foreign holidays by her wealthy parents, including ski-ing trips to Val d’Isere.
But as she explains, this was only to make up for the fact that, as a woman, she has always been so oppressed. An unsmiling icon of the new world order, her greatest passion remains social justice.
Marshall has Titania’s self-regarding mannerisms down to a tee: Her flicky long blonde hair, her perpetually indignant stance at the world’s unfairness towards her, hands on her hips, a sigh on her lips
The best thing about her, though, is she’s fictional. Although you do have an ominous sense that there are many, many more like her out in the real world, and probably blocking a junction near the M25 even as I write.
Titania McGrath is in fact the monstrous comic creation of satirist Andrew Doyle, and she began life as a mock Twitter account, commenting in her inimitably daft-woke way on the great issues of the day.
She has amassed no fewer than 650,000 followers, written two books, and is now brought brilliantly to life on the stage by the actress Alice Marshall, in a new show called Mxnifesto.
Marshall has Titania’s self-regarding mannerisms down to a tee: Her flicky long blonde hair, her perpetually indignant stance at the world’s unfairness towards her, hands on her hips, a sigh on her lips.
I went along on Thursday night to see a preview of the new show at the Leicester Square Theatre prior to a nationwide tour. It’s clever and blissfully funny.
The bullseye humour had the audience howling with mirth from the start. Pretty much everything Ms McGrath says is either inept, ignorant or just plain wrong.
At one point she says that, as a life-long anti-fascist, she really identifies with the person who finally killed Hitler, whoever it was. (Think about it).
‘Say what you like about the Taliban,’ she observes triumphantly, ‘at least they’re not Islamophobic!’
And arguing how successful socialism has always been at creating happy and prosperous societies in the real world, she draws our attention to contemporary Venezuela, where someone can earn a whopping 14.6million bolivars just by selling a single chicken. ‘And they say socialism makes people poor!’
As part of her tireless war against the rise of fascism, Titania believes that democracy must be cancelled, and only those with the right opinions should be allowed to vote. The State should also stamp down hard on free speech, which is just ‘hate speech’ anyway. ‘Debate is violence!’ she proclaims, before launching into another one of her poems, the impassioned but hard-to-pronounce ‘I Am Womxn’.
She has even more radical ideas. She looks forward to the day when heterosexuality itself will simply no longer exist. ‘I think future generations will really thank us for that.’
She identifies herself as ‘trans-disabled,’ which means she is entitled to use those more spacious loos designed for wheelchair users when she feels like it.
The delighted audience around me were overwhelmingly in their twenties and thirties themselves
She recently went round to a friend’s little boy’s fifth birthday party, where she proceeded to smash up a fifth of all his presents with a hammer, to impress upon him early in life ‘the realities of the 20 per cent gender pay gap’.
With the election of Donald Trump, she promptly took to the streets with her fellow protesters to denounce him as a Nazi, whilst ‘dressed as a giant vagina’.
And she once flew into Namibia, briefly, to distribute food to the people there. We duly see a photograph of Titania, immaculately dressed for the occasion, handing out little bags from Pret a Manger to a group of baffled-looking villagers.
For some reason, a powerful image of Meghan Markle came to my mind at this point.
It’s a great comfort to know that not all young people are like her, though.
The delighted audience around me were overwhelmingly in their twenties and thirties themselves.
If you were to judge by the regular hurricanes of moral indignation and spiteful calls for cancellation that sweep over social media almost daily, you might get the impression that pretty much everyone under thirty is a grim-faced Social Justice Warrior.
But this simply isn’t true, and in the preposterous figure of Titania McGrath and her growing army of young fans, we are happily reminded of the fact.
The puritans and the cultural-Marxist bullies, the would-be commissars and apparatchiks of a joyless and soulless new order, are actually fairly few in number. They just make a very, very loud noise.
Perhaps the answer is to drown them out with laughter. And Mxnifesto provides plenty of that.