Margaret Cho is seriously angry.
Not minor irritation or low-scale annoyance, but fury in outsize form as this outspoken comedian takes aim at society’s oppressive forces.
The scene of the showdown is the aptly-titled Assassin, the one-woman performance-meets-verbal assault Cho brings to Sydney next week.
A lot of the show is about things that we’re dealing with [in the United States], and they’re things that are pretty global, like gay marriage and the war in Iraq and this huge influence by the religious Right which is very disturbing and has become a huge issue, she tells Sydney Star Observer by phone from the US.
Satire is a favourite form of therapy for the San Francisco-raised Cho, and Australian audiences can expect a biting take on local politics when she brings Assassin here.
Yet the performer who last visited Australia with her 2002 effort Notorious C.H.O. insists her routines come with a brighter message.
They are, Cho says, all about empowering those traditionally at odds with mainstream views.
It’s all about finding visibility within a culture which is consistently ignoring us. And it’s not just minorities in the way of gay and lesbian and people of colour. It’s kind of like anybody who feels displaced.
It’s a sort of comedic activism that has seen Cho recognised for her social justice advocacy, not least by gay rights organisations.
In 2000 the US Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation lauded Cho for being among the community’s strongest allies for her regularly gay- and lesbian-themed work.
Cho thinks her tell-it-like-it-is take on the world explains her following.
I talk about queer culture as it is, she says.
But it took a decidedly heterosexual experience to kick-start Cho’s interest in her latest queer cause -“ gay marriage.
I really never thought too much about marriage. I never thought that it would be something that would be important to me or interesting to me, she says.
But when I did get married [in 2003] I found it was a very joyous and important thing and I felt so much that I really needed to express it and make this available to people and possible for people.
In the meantime, while conservative governments make things seem really awful and hopeless, Cho’s weapon of choice is what she knows best.
The best way is to find a place to laugh and be accepting of it and enjoy as much as we can of it, she says. I think that’s a really important way to survive.
Margaret Cho performs Assassin on Wednesday 20 July at 8pm at Enmore Theatre, 130 Enmore Road, Newtown. Bookings: 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.