Sara Barron: For Worse | Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett
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Sara Barron: For Worse

Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett

Sara Barron knows what she has become. After five years in the UK, any semblance of American positivity has been stripped away, replaced by withering British cynicism. 

That’s probably just a line; she’s so well-versed in contempt it must be in her DNA. There’s certainly a more than a hint of Joan Rivers’s cold contempt as she sneers at the joyous affirmations of others.

Having recently tied the knot (after a VERY unusual proposal) she’s most taken by the hasthag-heavy proclamations of fellow newlyweds, gushing about how they have married their best friend, found the missing piece of their puzzle, and blessed to be the luckiest girl in the world.

Every romantic phrase of such posts is duly deconstructed, crushing their joy with stone-hearted logic. Such social media posts are easy to mock – which is why so many comics do it – and although the waspish Barron is just one of the fray, she does it with bite.

Even her own baby isn’t immune to the comic’s sharp tongue, again deconstructing some of the myths about the supposed joys of motherhood, while instantly identifying her offspring as a white male, and probably straight, and therefore all part of the problem. This section doesn’t quite zing as crisply as her more dismissive routines, but she sells it well.

Throughout the show, Barron proves herself an entertaining, no-nonsense presence with a way with the audience that’s at once friendly and confronting. Witness the in-your-face way she insists on explaining what a ‘spit roast’, complete with full-on mime, to a man who didn’t really want to know.

Her most withering commentary, though, is aimed at her teenage self. When she was 13, naive and consumed by a crush on Michael Bolton, she wrote several volumes of what she thought was porn. And in that ‘can-do’ American spirit she wasn’t going to be deterred by the fact she knew absolutely zilch about sex. Her weird concepts, revealed as her work is read out with a willing audience volunteer, are hilarious.

This leads her into a showstopping routine which elevates the whole show a notch, as she blows apart the myth that women are mysterious and unknowable when it comes to orgasms, telling men to just put away the jackhammer and take things slow. 

Yes, this may be based on a putdown, but it’s a public service that has the women in the room whooping in agreement. Maybe such an empowering, sex-positive message shows that her American dynamism isn’t entirely dormant. All she needs now is a hashtag.

Review date: 11 Aug 2018
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Just The Tonic at The Tron

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