Lou Sanders: Shame Pig review – lurid gags from the comedians’ comedian

Soho theatre, London
With an abundance of eyebrow-raising anecdotes about outrageous social faux pas, the standup is terrific company

There was louder buzz around Lou Sanders’ Edinburgh fringe hour this year than her work has ever previously generated – Shame Pig was voted best show by her fellow comedians. Not only is it a fine show, from a comic with just the right distance from, and closeness to, all the self-mortifying stories she’s got to tell. But it also addresses her alcoholism and newfound sobriety. Her previous work was talked about in terms of its wildness and lack of focus. Shame Pig, by contrast, is efficient and on point, a neat hour broaching the burden of shame – as opposed to embarrassment – that Sanders (and, she argues, many women) find themselves carrying through youth and early adulthood.

Related: A moment that changed me: realising, aged 16, that I couldn’t handle alcohol | Lou Sanders

At Soho theatre, London, 25-28 February.

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Ad Libido review – taking female pleasure into her own hands

Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh
Fran Bushe’s comedy uses glitter and smart songs to advocate better understanding of sex for women

Fran Bushe wants to fix sex. Armed with glitter, songs and a diagram of her vulva, she’s on a mission to kickstart her own libido and change how we think and talk about female pleasure – and its opposite – in the bedroom. After trying and failing to enjoy sex for 15 years and facing a parade of unhelpful advice from GPs, Bushe is taking matters into her own hands.

Though, of course, it’s not that simple. Bushe wants a quick fix, a happy ending, but much of her solo show is about how life – and sex – don’t work that way. At least not in the sexually unequal society we still live in. Ad Libido is unapologetically personal, to the extent of including intimate snippets from Bushe’s teenage diary, yet it also lightly suggests the external pressures that many women feel when making decisions about sex. Often throughout Bushe’s quest it becomes as much about soothing the feelings of male partners as trying to make sex pleasurable for herself.

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Ad Libido review – taking female pleasure into her own hands

Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh
Fran Bushe’s comedy uses glitter and smart songs to advocate better understanding of sex for women

Fran Bushe wants to fix sex. Armed with glitter, songs and a diagram of her vulva, she’s on a mission to kickstart her own libido and change how we think and talk about female pleasure – and its opposite – in the bedroom. After trying and failing to enjoy sex for 15 years and facing a parade of unhelpful advice from GPs, Bushe is taking matters into her own hands.

Though, of course, it’s not that simple. Bushe wants a quick fix, a happy ending, but much of her solo show is about how life – and sex – don’t work that way. At least not in the sexually unequal society we still live in. Ad Libido is unapologetically personal, to the extent of including intimate snippets from Bushe’s teenage diary, yet it also lightly suggests the external pressures that many women feel when making decisions about sex. Often throughout Bushe’s quest it becomes as much about soothing the feelings of male partners as trying to make sex pleasurable for herself.

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‘Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret’ Updated For Adult Women Who Frequently Change Birth Control, by Ginny Hogan

Are you there god? It’s me, Margaret. I go by Mags now. Last time we chatted, I had just gotten my period. A lot has happened since. I’m 26 now, but my body is still going through continual changes. It all started in college. When I was 21, my boyfriend Damien said, “Do I really […]

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Why I wrote a comedy show about incontinence | Elaine Miller

As a physiotherapist, I know a third of women don’t have reliable body control. I wanted to raise awareness of this taboo subject at Edinburgh festival

I’m a physiotherapist, and as a fresh-faced graduate, my ambition was to work in elite sports. I did it, too, thriving on team spirit, travel and free trainers.

Then I had three babies in four years, each blessed with a bigger head than the one before. A dramatic sneeze during a zumba class showed me (and everyone there) that my pelvic floor had been reduced to rubble. In that excruciating instant, I realised that what really mattered was not being able to jump a tiny bit farther, or run a bit faster than others, but, being able to jump and run without wet pants.

Related: Ed Patrick is a junior doctor who’s finding the funny side | Sarah Johnson

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Manwatching: a secret female playwright’s liberating look at sex

The author of a hit show about desire explains why she’s staying anonymous – and why her play is only performed by male comedians

You’ve written a hit play, it’s been programmed for a run at the Royal Court – and you can’t take a shred of credit for it? You’d forgive the anonymous writer of Manwatching for feeling some frustration – but there’s little in evidence. “I keep telling the friends who know it’s me [and who are sworn to secrecy] that everyone should do a piece anonymously once in their lives. It’s tremendously liberating.”

Related: Manwatching at Edinburgh festival review – a frank insight into female desire

Of course the part of me that would like to boast is frustrated

Related: Unknown pleasures: do we enjoy art more if it’s anonymous?

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