Acclaimed writer and feminism champion Caitlin Moran kicked off her sold-out How to Build a Girl tour this month, publicising her recently released novel of the same name.
Author of How to be a Woman, Moranthology, and now, How to Build a Girl, Caitlin holds an ability to capture so accurately what everyone is thinking- part of what makes her so unique. This tour was no exception—her inspiring social commentary was met by waves of applaud and laughter in agreement.
Storming the stage of the New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, in front of an audience of 1299 women and 49 men, she truly shined and enthusiasm radiated from her. The Birmingham leg of the tour was almost a homecoming for Caitlin, who hails from the nearby city of Wolverhampton herself.
Moran has made no secret of her slightly unconventional upbringing, in which she was home-schooled in a council house in the Midlands, where she was the eldest of eight children.
Her new novel, How to Build a Girl, is semi-autobiographical in that it focuses on a young female protagonist from Moran’s city simply trying to find her place in the world. It is a brilliant coming-of-age story, a must for anyone who has experienced the, quite frankly harrowing, prospect of growing up.
Caitlin combined hilarious anecdotes with well-timed snippets of inspiring mottos (my personal favourite being “shots- not pints”), and spoke with such warmth and clarity that you felt as though you were simply listening to an old friend tell a particularly embarrassing story.
So much so it was only when she name-dropped Steven Moffat or Richard Curtis would I remember that she is of course an award-winning author and columnist.
Stealing the show
The Birmingham show was the first since How to Build a Girl had reached number one in the book charts, and Caitlin announced that she wanted to celebrate the achievement how she would have as a twelve-year-old (keeping in line with the theme of the book) and proceeded to very graciously down a mini trifle, like a shot.
Moran is a self-proclaimed pop culture-obsessive and delighted the audience by reeling off side- splitting (not to mention cringe worthy) anecdotes of her experience of Sunday lunch with Benedict Cumberbatch, and an unfortunate encounter with the mansion of supermodel Kate Moss, to name but a few.
My worries that such a successful novelist and broadcaster would be aloof and cold, maybe even pretentious, were completely unfounded. Her on-stage persona was exactly the same as her approach at the greeting afterwards. She also confirmed to me at the signing what we all of course already knew—people from the Midlands are the best kind.
With an array of merchandise on sale and still available on her website- all proceeds going to the women’s charity Refuge, Caitlin was happy to sign books and t-shirts, even the odd arm bore her autograph. And of course, hugs were obligatory.
Armed with rousing mottos, Moran had the whole audience in raucous laughter.
One particular snippet of advice that particularly resonated throughout the theatre was: “fake it ‘til you make it.”
Recalling how she suffered with confidence issues, Caitlin boldly told us that “If you’re not a confident person, pretend to be one.” Words to live by.
What do you think? Have you seen Caitlin Moran on tour? Have your say in the comments section below.