Sarah Campbell

Sarah Campbell

Finalist in the 2008 Funny Women competition
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Don't Worry Guys It's Sarah Campbell

Review by Julia Chamberlain

It’s very difficult to pull off a comedy show about existential angst, boredom and anxiety and in my opinion Sarah Campbell doesn’t succeed. 

She talks about being a worrier and how debilitating it is, then goes out to find the most worried person in the room. Could have been any one of us, as once you’ve got a strident woman bawling in your face with a microphone who then mimics your voice back at you when answered (Bullying 101), that is pretty worrying. 

One of her concerns is that that life’s going to drag out, being the same groundhog day/month/five years. She takes particular sneering issue with a Guardian weekend supplement full of suggestions of things to do, rejecting everything with a sigh of disgust. But she doesn’t offer anything back. Much of comedy is complaint and dissatisfaction, but this is holding things up for ridicule without any insightful comment alternative, just making statements with nose wrinkling contempt.  

She has an exaggerated, declamatory, histrionic gurning delivery, with her mouth stretched wide and tense like a cartoon of Cherie Blair or pursed right in to ‘the point of pin’, as the limerick goes. And she’s loud, so loud, on the mic with no variation.  It’s like watching a teacher doing an end-of-term skit, she pantomimes every remark.

In fairness, she did strike a chord with the audience with her remarks about Facebook updates and other people’s end-of-year reviews and the sense of ‘I have no highlights of the year’ and more importantly ‘I don’t feel I’ve got anything particularly new to tell people’.

She’s absolutely right, she doesn’t have and as yet she hasn’t acquired the comic skill of making something out of nothing.

 As the show advances she becomes more personal and desolate and there is a sense of her fragility beneath the overstating.  She seems less bored and irritated by life,  more weighed down with a deep anxiety that is anything but comic.  

There are some elements in here that could contribute to a richer show, but glib, northern nihilism mixed with pedestrian observation and a harsh delivery made it hard to be around.

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Published: 18 Aug 2014

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Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2010

Sarah Campbell: 27 Up


Edinburgh Fringe 2011

Christmas For Two: Friends With You


Edinburgh Fringe 2013

Sarah Campbell: Isn't It Fun?


Edinburgh Fringe 2014

Don't Worry Guys It's Sarah Campbell


Misc live shows

Funny Women final 2008


Agent

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