Accidents Happen To Sasha Ellen | Brighton Fringe comedy review by Steve Bennett

Accidents Happen To Sasha Ellen

Brighton Fringe comedy review by Steve Bennett

This is yet another one of those mildly interesting life stories from a likeable, chipper comic – but too lightweight to really be anything more than a moderately diverting time-filler. 

Accidents Happen To Sasha Ellen is a tale loosely about family ties, instigated by her unexpectedly finding herself pregnant as a teen. Her mum had been in the same situation when expecting her, too, while her parents’ divorce also echoes the end of her long-term relationship.

Ellen, 27-year-old middle-class Essex girl, has a nice style, but a very familiar one, the sight ironic detachment of the millennial that means the ‘brutally honest’ part of the show description never quite materialises. She tells of a series of events that happen to her without really illuminating much, but she’s always engaging while she does so.

Best of those anecdotes by far involve her misadventures with pets, which win for their gruesome, visceral detail. And there are also some engaging peripheral characters, such as her inscrutably sinister Russian grandmother.

But there’s a lot of makeweight, too, as she flashes up old pictures of herself, raising an eyebrow at the folly of the past, or the creepy-looking animatronic bears at the theme park she was taken to. Such reverie sits with more recent, harder memories of being dumped (and a note to all comedians: can we have a moratorium on the joke suggesting anonymity that goes ‘let’s call him Arthur… because that’s his real name’ Everyone’s doing it.)

The bits and pieces just about hold together, before a big twist in her tale. But it’s clumsily handled, coming more as a disappointing let-down making us feel that we’d been misled rather than a magical reveal throwing the preceding 50 minutes into a new light.

In the final reckoning, this is a charming enough hour, but one that’ll be forgotten soon after you’ve left the building.

Review date: 31 May 2017
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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