REVIEW: Sara Pascoe at the Lowry

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SARA Pascoe took to the stage of The Lowry last night with Animal, the sister show to her critically acclaimed book, ‘The Autobiography of a Female Body’. Quays News entertainment reporter Hollie Rees was there…

Following the stand-up’s appearance on the Salford stage last June, last night’s performance formed an extra date added to the tour. With fresh content and different, yet still as intriguing, questions posed; the set was a completely different one than that delivered to the June audience.

Pascoe made her way onto the stage dressed in ultra-cool Super Mario leggings and set the agenda right from the beginning. By assuring those on the front row that they were safe, everyone immediately felt involved and at ease. Giving her own definition of comedy, picking on members of the crowd and asking personal questions didn’t make the cut.

As well as this, she put forward the idea that comedy is not an art form. She hates all forms of art: galleries, music, ballet, but mostly theatre. The fact that you can’t look at your phone, you have to guess how long is left and it would be frowned upon to leave during the interval – the whole experience is just awful.

Comedy is not an art form, it’s a craft. A craft that Pascoe has gotten spot on.

The fast-paced set was coated with enthusiasm and touched on a range of hilarious and seemingly random topics. Whether she was referring to Uber drivers, glow worms, sexually frustrated female pigs, YouTubers, emojis or Idris Elba, each anecdote linked back to the one before and had everyone chuckling throughout.

Having split from her boyfriend of three years – and finding herself single for the first time in fifteen – the comic spent a large portion of the first half reflecting back on her own past experiences with love.

From the “second best day” of her life, which involved discovering she wore the same M&S knickers as her then partner’s mother, to having her life ‘accidentally’ insured by the last boyfriend, she then turned her attention to her newly single lifestyle, telling the audience of a clichéd spiritual yoga retreat in Costa Rica. Side note: it really wasn’t worth the surprising fourteen hour plane journey.

Looking back at other aspects of her life, including not-so-innocent nights out with friend Shelley and shocking lies that her family still believe are true, Pascoe explained how she’s trying to be a good person now that she’s older.

This would be much easier if she didn’t have creepy men turning up at her performances with unsolicited photographs on their phones. What’s worse, creepy men in wheelchairs – she’s just got to be nice.

Bringing the other characters to life on stage – whether it be a past love interest, family member or friend – made the anecdotes more believable and real. I left feeling like I’d seen a group performance, not a solo stand-up set.

Before diving head first into topics which could be deemed inappropriate, Pascoe made it clear that she knew what she was about to say was ‘wrong’, or ‘sexist’, or ‘rude’… Seeing how far she could go with the audience in front of her appeared to be a form of entertainment for herself, as she struggled to keep a straight face at times.

As the set came to a close, Pascoe wrapped it up in a very clever way. Displaying her overall originality and writing skills, she referred back to the very beginning of the show and gave alternative endings for if the performance had been a film or a musical, or if she had access to a bigger budget.

Pascoe’s likeable personality shone through and the character on stage was an individual that everyone should want to be friends with. The set was delivered in a way that appealed to all audience members and left nobody in the dark. Running from the stage with a huge grin as Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ blasted out was the most perfect ending.

The show was witty, clever and thoroughly researched. Just like her Uber rating, I’d give her four stars out of five.

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