sat 18/05/2024

Edinburgh Fringe 2022 reviews: Sara Barron / Jayde Adams / Sophie Duker | reviews, news & interviews

Edinburgh Fringe 2022 reviews: Sara Barron / Jayde Adams / Sophie Duker

Edinburgh Fringe 2022 reviews: Sara Barron / Jayde Adams / Sophie Duker

Scathing judgments, expressive dance and lesbian cruises

Sara Barron deals with some serious subjects in her raucously funny showMatt Stronge
Sara Barron, Pleasance Courtyard 

Sara Barron is known for her no-holds-barred comedy style – or “American energy” as another mum at her son’s school calls it – but in her fast-paced new show she pushes even further, addressing as she

does her fertility treatment and a miscarriage.

But Hard Feelings is not sad, far from from it. It is an hour of often raucous comedy, telling it like it is, whether that’s about the reality of sex in a long-term marriage, dirty bums or frenemies.

She warms up the audience – Barron does great crowd work – with some observational shtick about being a foreigner in the UK, the realities of ageing and how blowjobs have become a form of currency – “I’d rather suck dick than do admin” – in her marriage.

Barron is wonderfully scathing about so many things – including  people who have tattoos of their children’s names and anyone who stands in judgment of her – but ultimately the tale of her son’s unique “origin story” is moving – and eyewateringly graphic at points.  It’s a belter.

Until 28 August


Jayde Adams, Pleasance Courtyard 

Jayde Adams' previous show was a marvellous pisstake of oh-so-serious celebrities; this show, she tells us, will be nothing like that. And so it proves.

In Men, I Can Save You, she talks about her lockdown experience and how it changed her view not just of men (she was living with her boyfriend and his mate) but of their place in the world. But now she's single and wants to spread the message about what women (or this woman, at least) desire in a modern man. (To underline the point that she's delivering a great truth  she is dressed in Jesus-like white robes.)

There are juicy anecdotes about  contacting a sex worker and hooking up with an unnamed celebrity, and Adams describes how she got her sex education from US teen dramas, and references the lack of consent in Sleeping Beauty. There many bright ideas but they don't gel into a coherent whole.

Adams should be good value on the upcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing, but it’s unlikely she’ll be doing the (very long and very graphic) expressive dance that draws the show to a close.

Until 28 August


Sophie Duker, Pleasance Courtyard 

When Sophie Duker was nominated for best newcomer at the 2019 Dave Edinburgh Comedy Awards, it was obvious she was destined for bigger things. She gained a new audience winning the most recent series of Taskmaster on Channel 4, and has returned to Edinburgh with some buzz about her.

It’s a shame that her new show, Hag, is such a disappointment. It meanders through various themes – race, sexuality, astrology, her family history – without settling on anything. Each time Duker starts to address a new subject you expect rather more than is delivered, such as the childhood years she spent with her Ghanaian grandmother, ostensibly the theme of the show. Even when she deals at some length with her gig on a lesbian cruise it peters out rather than deliver a big payoff.

There are plenty of good lines in the show, but few big laughs.

Until 28 August

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