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U.K. actor using comedy to spotlight ‘invisible’ women during Island tour

Charlotte Palmer staging shows in Nanaimo, Victoria, Qualicum Beach, Tofino, Duncan and Port Alberni
Charlotte Palmer will don the many hats of her entertainment career as she performs ‘The Invisible Woman isn’t invisible…’ at the Unitarian Hall in Nanaimo on Nov. 16. (Photo via

The creator of a one-woman show will put “invisible women” over 50 in the spotlight.

U.K. actor, comedian, writer, street performer, improviser, and musician Charlotte Palmer has combined her talents to present ‘The Invisible Woman is Not Invisible, She’s Merely Over 50’ which shows in Nanaimo this month.

“It’s not about feeling sorry for yourself, it’s very comedic,” Palmer said. “But it is still giving a lot of facts and a lot of statistics. I just try to present them in a funny way.”

Audience members have come up to the comedian after performances to tell her that they weren’t even fully aware of the stark facts.

In the show, Palmer refers to a study by the British Film Institute, which analyzed more than 2,000 scripts and noted that “for every 55,000 words that a man had, a woman had 11,000,” in the 45-65 age range. Based on the 5:1 ratio, she then launches into ‘spoof scripts’ that give a male performer five words to the female performer’s one.

“It does have a serious point, but it’s not making anyone, least of all men, feel bad about themselves,” she said. “I’m finding humourous ways to present what’s seriously going on in the business. And also elsewhere … this is also happening for women in every walk of life.”

Palmer said she’s also pleased that men have come up to her after the show and expressed how much they’ve enjoyed it as well.

“The one thing I don’t want is for anyone to feel bad … I do say in the show that, although we’ve had a patriarchy for thousands of years, a patriarchy can only exist with the whole support of society and that includes women. And at no point do I want anyone to think that I’m having a go at them.”

And rather than having younger women pitted against older women, as she’s observed, the comedian would like to acknowledge that “this is something that’s going to affect us all, and let’s band together on this one.”

Palmer also noted the show has been adjusted and made more accessible for a Canadian audience with help from her longtime friend, Comox Valley’s Helen Austin of Big Little Lions.

“There’s something for everyone in it. It’s much more inclusive than you think it might be. And hopefully you’ll learn something,” she said.

Palmer’s television appearances include EastEnders, Coronation Street, Absolutely Fabulous, Prime Suspect 73, The Vicar of Dibley and Ricky Gervais’s Extras.

The Invisible Woman will be performed in Nanaimo at the Unitarian Hall on Townsite Road on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. Following performances include Victoria on Nov. 17, Qualicum Beach on Nov. 18, Tofino on Nov. 19, Duncan on Nov. 22 and Port Alberni on Nov. 23.

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