Angela Barnes: You Can't Take It With You | Review by Barrie Morgan
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Angela Barnes: You Can't Take It With You

Review by Barrie Morgan

From the outset it's hard to believe You Can't Take It With You is Angela Barnes's debut. It's contemplative, heart-warming and poignant, covering a myriad of topics you'd expect from a comic in her mid-to-late 30s – and some you wouldn't. The pace is fast, the material strong and the delivery perfect.

Barnes is instantly likeable. A little scruffy by her own admission but no different to anyone else in the room. She quickly introduces the 'carpe diem' ethos, adapting it and establishing it as the main theme of her show with ease. It's handled beautifully but what really impresses is her ability to turn the other, less interesting, topics into a strong, cohesive set.

Barnes covers some already well-trodden ground such as online dating and drugs but offers a fresh, insightful spin on everything she touches. Nothing seems dated or cliched and it's part of her charm to be able to make them fresh and interesting again. It's hard not to believe everything Barnes is saying, which only adds to the weight of the material.

The show really comes into its own when Barnes discusses her late father, a sex shop owner, with references to him peppered throughout the show. She uses a quaint little suitcase full of memories to signify defining moments in her life. It's a nice touch and one that adds to her performance.

The show builds perfectly and rises to a suitable climax . It's structured like a show a comedian in their tenth year would be proud of; an incredibly enjoyable piece of work, and a masterclass in how to put together a Fringe hour.

Review date: 8 Aug 2014
Reviewed by: Barrie Morgan
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

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