Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre
Simon B Cotter
Snorri Hergill Kristjansson
Special guest who cannot be named
Stephen K Amos
Steve N Allen
At Chortle Fast Fringe
Extract from her 2010 show Sara Pascoe vs Her Ego
More Sara Pascoe videos
|At Chortle Fast Fringe|
|NIVEA Funny Women Awards|
Sara Pascoe has been working as a comedy actor, sketch performer, improviser and writer since 2006, when she joined the Newsreue topical sketch show. She started stand-up in late 2007 and the following year was a runner-up in the Funny Women competition and placed third in the So You Think You're Funny? new act competition.
In 2009, she landed a regular role in the Channel 4 sitcom Free Agents as the disrespectful assistant, Emma.
Tickle My Fancy review
The two most fundamental requirements of a comedy club are not that hard to figure out: you should be able to both see and hear the comedians. Sadly, for want of even the cheapest stage light, the Tickle My Fancy night in the Albert And Pearl pub in Islington, North London, only fulfilled half of these, with an unlit performance that meant any facial expressions were lost to the audience. More crucially, a gloomy stage inevitably makes for a gloomy atmosphere that hardly screams ‘comedy!”
Our MC, Lloyd Griffith added to the amateurish ambiance. He acts exactly like David Brent, and I’m fairly sure it’s not an act. As he chats to the audience, he comes out with weak jokes followed by nervous high-pitched giggle of self-consciousness. He punctuates his patter with ‘Yeah?’ and at one point he even tagged a sentence with ‘– fact’, just to underline the comparison.
As the show progresses, he reveals his day job to be not a manager of a Slough paper merchants, but a choral singer with an impressive male alto voice, and his party-piece bursts of song certainly have the crowd rapt in a way his limp banter never does.
More awkwardness came from opening act Robert Commiskey, a nerdy American stand-up whose deliberate delivery is so soaked in ironic distance that it’s hard to warm to him. Adopting an exaggerated Muppet-like voice for every third party makes him seem like almost a parody of a geeky smart-arse college student who mistakes a cynically sarcastic tone for genuine wit.
This approach creates an unnecessary barrier as some of his material – particularly on British traits only an outsider could have noticed – is well-observed and naturally funny, something his rather unnatural delivery does a disservice to.
Kishore Nayar was almost the mirror-image, with some rather pedestrian conversational stand-up told expertly well. There’s some stuff about him Asian, and some stuff about him being a lawyer, even though he lives up to the stereotype of neither. Slick presentation at the expense of personality is perhaps, the norm in today’s comedy-course-germinated open-mic circuit – so while he’s exudes an air of a man who knows what he’s doing, there’s not enough to mark him out.
Given his background as a former star of Hollyoaks and Casualty, it’s only to be expected that sharp-suited James Redmond addressed that issue straight off the bat, to save any audience mutters.
But the first half of his set, in which he talks about being recognised in the street and doling out autographs, seem rather boastful when he hasn’t yet established his credentials as a stand-up. They neither connect to the crowd, nor set him up as a high-status comic funny in his arrogance, but inadvertently alienate him as a ‘celeb’ among plebs like us.
Beyond that, the set’s a mixed bag, with several good lines on admittedly rather unadventurous subjects such as how the people of his home town of Bristol sound a bit dim. Plus he wasn’t afraid to try a few ad-libs, being the first act of the night to reference the on-stage darkness. And for all the talk of being a TV face, he’s an affable presence at home in front of a crowd – which will stand him in good stead once he starts evolving into a genuine comedian, rather than an actor trying his hand at it.
The dry and offbeat Sara Pascoe served up a lot of what had previously been lacking: creative ideas. Her success rate was wildly inconsistent, but the quirky routine was always intriguing, and when a gag did hit home, it was all the more impressive for its originality. Her persona of a mildly spaced-out naïf lets her explore borderline surreal material, yet make it still sound convincing, while heightening the impact of the smartly-written jokes when they arrive.
Even so, the star of the show was undoubtedly headliner Jarred Christmas, a big, playful lug of a comedian who’s the closes thing stand-up has to a human teddy-bear. Although he forces his dopey persona on to the audience with quite some force, he’s so affable and unthreatening, he sweeps everyone up in his good-natured mischief, even a room that’s as sluggish as this one.
The opening quips are, inevitably, about his unusual surname, though he avoids being too predictable, then proudly announced a section of miscellaneous jokes he can’t fit together any other way. With this refreshing abandoning of any contrived conversational premise, he knocks in the silly punchlines until the audience has unshakable belief in his abilities.
That means that when he moves on to longer routines, some of which admittedly don’t hit the high-water mark he’s already established, we’re just happy to go along in his spirit of devil-may-care good humour. And, of course, he’s enough of a pro to have a bankably strong section to finish on, even if he announces that’s exactly what he’s going to do. For all the appearances of just messing about, Christmas is a real pro.
|Date of live review: Friday 18th Jun, '10|
Review by Steve Bennett
Wednesday 31st Oct, '12- Soho Theatre
Sunday 12th Aug, '12- Assembly George Square
Friday 19th Aug, '11-
Sara Pascoe Vs Her Ego
Monday 9th Aug, '10-
Sunday 25th Jul, '10-
Sunday 24th Aug, '08-
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2008 - Friday 22nd Aug, '08-
Show - Misc live shows - Saturday 0th Jun, '08-
I saw her last night in Tooting and have to say she is fantastic! Very funny indeed! Would go see her again!
Mediocrity personified. Why would I pay money to see this unless you like pretty blonde women with mockney voices? Fourth rate.
I saw Sara at the Fringe, I largely agree with the Live Review. Sara is a great comedian with very witty and clever material, but, certainly on the night I went, the relationship with the audience didn't feel entirely at ease. She's like a Josie Long that hasn't yet quite worked out how to make the audience adore her. Having said that, it's obvious she has talent and skill, and any show she does is well worth a visit.
Saw Sara this weekend as part of a promising bill in Hammersmith and found her very amusing. Far more than expected to be honest! She came on with a slightly ditzy girl - faux naive stage persona which belied some very sharp writing in our opinion. She had a couple of great one-liners twisting the usual hack stuff which caused a bit of an “Oh! Did she really just say that?” double take audience response and not only from our group. Really enjoyed some original and impressive stuff on girl-boy relationship problems as well. She ended with a comedy song. Usually a phrase which causes us all to sigh inwardly with despair. It’s a tough thing to pull off yet Sara rallied us back with an inspired riff on Lady Gaga promoting some of the 'benefits of book reading' for teenagers. Her high standard of writing augers well for future developments we think. Well worth looking out for although a bit of a left field take on punch lines. One to watch!
Saw Sara again the other day. She has some really great writing and a wonderfully innocent persona to match some of her darker gags. Great stuff!
I don't know if Chris is referring to the 'stick and football' rape gag, but Pascoe has some very neat one-liners, that are original in attitude, offbeat and very very very funny!
Sara is absolutely wonderful, a complete delight to watch and she has my favourite joke of 2008.
Campus: Series 1
So You Think You're Funny 
Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Sara Pascoe Vs Her Ego
Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Sara Pascoe vs The Apocalypse
Edinburgh Fringe 2012
Gareth Morinan Presents A Wilmops Good Improv Show
Sara Pascoe: The Musical!
Edinburgh Fringe 2013
Sara Pascoe Vs The Truth
Misc live shows
Funny Women final 2008