Sarah Bennetto: All My Life's Mistakes, Catalogued (Volume 1) | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review by Steve Bennett
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Sarah Bennetto: All My Life's Mistakes, Catalogued (Volume 1)

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review by Steve Bennett

Cordial Australian comic Sarah Bennetto confesses that she hasn’t traditionally felt comfortable revealing much about herself on stage, tending to favour shows that put stories over emotions.

But in the last year she’s been through something pretty grim, and felt that she needed to lay out those experiences in her work. And while that story has impact and resonance there’s still some feeling of distance in the way it emerges from nowhere in this show. Getting over the huge emotional hump needed to open up is hugely laudable, though perhaps there’s still an understandable wariness about going all-in on stage, and a difficulty in finding the funny therein.

Leading up to this big reveal, All My Mistakes Catalogued (Vol 1) is, as you’d expect, a list of 50 bad choices small and large, The larger ones tend to be glossed over in favour of the smaller faux pas in a trick of misdirection, though the balance isn’t quite right.

Carrying 27 piñatas up to Edinburgh earlier this month is counted as 27 of the mistakes, for example, and even though she injects the anecdote will all the storytelling tricks she can muster, it can't transcend the fact it’s only a yarn about travelling with bulky luggage. Even if it does name-drop Ed Byrne. Yet other of the incidents caused by her innate clumsiness are amusing as they must have embarrassing. 

Throughout the show there’s a generous serving of sterling gags and some astutely witty observations – the ‘but’ is that the quality’s not consistent. Bennetto’s chatty, and he likeability shines through: we root for her through tales of relationship woe and dating misadventures and share her happiness at becoming a doting aunt.

Bennetto has possibly made a handful of her more minor mistakes in putting together this show, but it marks a small but significant change of course for a comedian who’s been around for yonks. 

She’s just finding her feet in this new direction, and probably could have done with a little more assistance in focussing and structuring her first show to properly display such frankness – but, make no mistake, there are plenty of laughs along the way.

Review date: 14 Aug 2017
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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