Greater Manchester Fringe is well and truly in the swing of things, and I was honoured to review Rachel Creeger’s latest masterpiece ‘Ultimate Jewish Mother 2023’ at the intimate Garrick Theatre in Whitefield.
Creeger is no stranger to the stage as she is a multi-award-winning stand-up comedian, writer, and director, and I believe the only practising orthodox Jewish woman on the mainstream UK comedy circuit.
Her debut hour “It’s No Job for A Nice Jewish Girl” won the Best Comedy Award at the Greater Manchester Fringe in 2017, which sold out its run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where it was a Fringe Review recommended show, and went on to have a critically acclaimed, successful international tour. Her second solo hour “Hinayni!” ran at the Underbelly for Edinburgh Fringe 2019 and also received 5 star and 4-star reviews. The show was meant to tour the UK in 2020 and her new show “Pray It Forward” was set to debut in Edinburgh, but the pandemic halted proceedings!
Creeger co-hosts podcast “Jew Talkin’ to Me?” and is the resident MC for “Comedy Upstairs at the Adam & Eve”, which is a long-established new material night for professional comics. She is also a regular on numerous radio stations and many other popular podcasts such as Drunk Women Solving Crime and Worst Foot Forward.
As a seasoned comedian it was no surprise she had her audience immediately eating out of her hands, quite literally with her anecdotes of Jewish food and delicacies such as challah bread and the acquired taste of gefilte fish to the infamous chicken soup which cures all aliments in line with penicillin, which has been renowned for relieving colds and nourishing pregnant women, and has even been said to cure asthma and leprosy — as the 12th century Jewish philosopher and physician Maimonides claimed in his book “On the Cause of Symptoms.” Hence the well-earned nickname of “Jewish penicillin”!
The size of the audience for a Monday evening was testimony enough to gauge her popularity amongst the Jewish population, who seemed to thoroughly enjoy her narrative tales of being a Jewish mother. Creeger’s presentation is extremely interactive and inclusive as she invites the audience to write a question for the ultimate Jewish mother which she went on to answer individually with ease and confidence.
As a non-Jewish mother I could still identify with the tales of motherhood and the challenges of parenting with the greatest desire for our children to succeed in life. Creeger cleverly added song lyrics and poetical words to music such as ‘Under the Sink’ in tune to ‘Under the Sea’ from little mermaid and a song about ‘Chicken Soup’ with the use of Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ to display her depiction of the ‘Ultimate Jewish Mother 2023’.
Creeger is clearly a successful comedian in the Jewish community, and I am sure her polished sketch will be favourable at the Edinburgh Fringe when the time arises.
I wish her well in the future and was grateful for the opportunity to have a glimpse of what is like to be a Jewish Mother and the pressures they experience.
Reviewer: Katie Leicester
Reviewed: 3rd July 2023
North West End UK Rating: