Maya took part in our Friends Scheme prize draw and won a pair of tickets to see Sara Pascoe, who has been kindly supporting the Feminist Library. Here is Maya’s review of the night.
Sara Pascoe warmed up her Edinburgh preview by confiding that she never picks on audiences (she is too scared) and the crowd sitting in a sweaty above-the-pub function room in Camden started to relax.
Angela Barnes opened the night with reflections on turning forty, our terror-inducing political climate, and being a claustrophile. A few recommendations on the UK’s best bunkers, the even better bunker-cum-B&Bs she frequents, and her notion that poets are just people who have never been told that they’re a bit shit (contentious, but definitely got the biggest laugh), and she left the stage, with us wanting more. Shortly after this I realised Angela was the author of a guardian opinion piece a few years earlier on ‘ugly-ism’ https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jun/28/ugly-proud-of-it, an extremely refreshing take on body image that is well worth a read.
Sara Pascoe swings from light to dark with the deft hand of a natural comedian and storyteller. We learn a lot about her during her set – that she has been known to ‘overlap’ relationships, that she isn’t entirely sure she wouldn’t fancy her own brother (if she had one), and that she is a self-confirmed philistine (stand up doesn’t count as she assures us ‘this isn’t art’).
Sara Pascoe wants to buy you dinner. This is her feminist solution to the fetishisation of men buying women food (see: offensive dating rituals). She is yet to work out the finer details, but it’s on the horizon. Her bit on fantasising about a career as an evil paparazzo is hilarious, and shows her understanding of the inner workings of the mind. It attests to how naturally funny, relatable, and endearing Sara is that at no point during the set do we feel anything but warmth for her. This swings briefly into jealousy when she starts describing her recent trip to a ‘spiritual’ yoga retreat in Costa Rica (she hated it, rich American divorcees aplenty and not, as she spluttered with mock shock, in Spain) and her realisation that taking herself to Paris for Valentine’s day was like seeing the city for the first time as, on her previous trip, she had had the outline of her partner’s head partially obscuring the Louvre, Eiffel Tour, etc. There is no subtlety to this message, and it’s clear that independence and feminism is at the heart of a lot of Sara’s comedy.
She isn’t into self-deprecating, inviting us into the intimacies of her sex life and not feeling any shame about this mainly involving her ‘lying there and enjoying things being done to her’. She challenges bullshit stereotypes (‘Don’t let a man or a sex toy buy you dinner!’) and she is a champion of animal rights. We left loving Sara Pascoe, if you can get a ticket for the main event in Edinburgh (Lads, Lads, Lads) you definitely will too.