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Sally-Anne Hayward: Fringe 2012

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Alex Mason

Sally-Anne Hayward has had a pretty terrible year by any account. It was dominated by the death of her father, and attempting to find humour in the minutiae of life over the past 12 months, as she has elected to do, seems doomed to failure with such a strong overhanging theme.

Her joke count is very high or abysmally low depending on where you draw the line. There are a lot of mild chuckles, but the material is hit and miss –  although that would suggest a near 50/50 split, which she was far from attaining.

It's all so conversational it's pretty much chat, more akin to catching up with an old friend over coffee than a stand-up set. What jokes are  distinguishable are either cliché or mediocre observational comedy at best, with Hayward laughing more than the audience at the overly obvious punchlines.

The odd mix of material, crunching gears between the grieving process and that time she went to the shops is too disjointed, and deadens the impact of both.

Hayward also appeared to be suffering a crisis of confidence, delivering the jokes without gusto and looking like she was just trying to make it through to the set rather than having a burning desire to tell a story.

It didn't help that almost all of the modest midday audience were sluggish, lacking appreciation even for the good jokes. The silence and lack of energy was eerie and off-putting in this disappointing show, performed with little enthusiasm.

Review date: 21 Aug 2012
Reviewed by: Alex Mason
Reviewed at: Stand 3 and 4

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