Titania McGrath – Queen of Woke

Comedy Unleashed very seldom hosts serious talks. In November it hosted a lecture from best-selling author, social media activist (her Twitter following is nearly half-a-million), and Queen of Woke, Titania McGrath. Among other things she was promoting her latest book, Woke.

Comedy Unleashed is run by Andrew Doyle, who also has a hand in Titania McGrath.

An opening pause is a well-tested device for conveying confidence and settling an audience. The Lord Hague of Richmond often does it, though I don’t think I’ve known his last more than twenty seconds or conclude with a sigh.

However, gestures (see 0:47) involving a hand on the back of the head is a nerve symptom. Psychologists tell us that it signifies stress or tiredness and that it is hard-wired into us. Even new-born babies do it. McGrath habitually flicks her hair with this gesture, suggesting to me that her hands are used to fiddling with the back of the head.

At 4:30 she moves stage right, and into darkness. My immediate reaction is to castigate her for such a basic error, but it quickly turns out that the stage management has failed to cue a lighting change to accommodate this move unmasking the centre-stage screen. Though the lights do eventually change she liberates an ill-mannered comment on the subject, and the lighting engineer takes revenge by pulling his fader back down. Lighting engineers enjoy pulling their faders up and down.

Now that the screen is unmasked we see a series of very moving slides. I found it deeply moving.

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