Jordan Gray’s Is It A Bird? is an important, perspective-shifting masterstroke
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11.04.2023

Jordan Gray’s Is It A Bird? is an important, perspective-shifting masterstroke

Jordan Gray Is It A Bird? review
Words by Bryget Chrisfield

As a transgender woman from Essex who loves superheroes, the title of Jordan Gray’s hour of comedy – Is It A Bird? – is undeniably *chef’s kiss*.

During this show, Jordan also hilariously labels herself “a brilliant feminist” for taking down the patriarchy “one man at a time”. “How come the same people that don’t want me using the women’s toilets have got absolutely no problem with Bruce Wayne self-identifying as bat?” Jordan posits, weighing up her own “situation” with that of Batman.

Explore Melbourne’s latest arts and stage news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Jordan Gray: ‘You very much can live vicariously through me’

She was a musician before becoming a comedian – reaching the semi-finals of The Voice UK in 2016 – and Jordan’s agile, toddler-like physicality, frenetic energy and elastic facial expressions further elevate Is It A Bird?. During her “Jesus was a zombie” musical number (“I’ll eat your flesh, you eat mine” – hee-hee), Jordan leads an audience sing-along: “[Insert religious group: eg. Christians, Muslims, Sikhs] are insane” – she totally goes there! No topic is off limits here.

While the Superman theme plays over the venue soundsystem, Jordan transforms into her own ‘superhero’ – naked and proud – for this show’s finale. That’s gotta feel freeing, right? But then as Jordan sings, “If I’m gonna be a joke then I might as well be in on it” – twice – to conclude her closing piano number, another thought-provoking observation – shared somewhat matter of factly – earlier on in the show springs to mind: “If I woke up one morning as a dog, my life would improve dramatically overnight.” Is It A Bird? is an important, perspective-shifting masterstroke.

Homework: Check out Jordan’s podcast, Transplaining.

Best bits: Jordan voicing a Japanese Akita dog apologising for failing to acknowledge her gender transition (still LOL-ing every single time we think of this!).

Audience participation: Of a 33-years-married hetero couple in the front row, Jordan asks at the top of her show: “Have you ever had a conversation in your life about bringing a transgender woman into the bedroom to spice things up a bit?” The bloke responds, “We will tonight” – well played! But then he lets himself down later in  the show, catcalling, “Great rack!” Ugh, have we made zero progress? Other people’s bodies are none of your business.

Number of legit LOLs: Heaps! And also an abundance of gobsmacking, ‘Holy shit, she totally went there!’ moments.

Grab tickets here.