Sara Pascoe @ Pleasance Courtyard

Sara Pascoe takes on break-ups, chivalry and sex toys in a triumphant return to the Fringe

Review by Eve Livingston | 08 Aug 2017
  • Sara Pascoe

Sara Pascoe’s LadsLadsLads treads familiar comedy ground, using a recent break-up as a backdrop against which to overshare about sex, discuss the merits of solo holidays and settle the age-old debate about who should pay on a date. If there was any chance of this resulting in a predictable hour, though, Pascoe’s sharp wit and charming delivery ensure she stands out from the crowd.

Cutting a more self-conscious figure than the candour of her material would suggest – for this is a show that includes frank discussion of both incest and masturbation – Pascoe delivers a brilliantly crafted hour of stand-up that is both universal in its appeal while remaining true to her feminist and political roots. The juxtaposition between her famously awkward delivery and the disarming openness with which she approaches her subject matter serves only to make Pascoe’s anecdotes more relatable and her audience more comfortable with them from the outset.

This is precisely the charm of LadsLadsLads: for all its indelicate humour, the show remains delightfully warm and endearing throughout. Even the most restrained audience member is given permission to fully immerse themselves in routines ranging from a stridently feminist defence against the comment that Pascoe is “too tampon-y” to more generically appealing material about the dullness of art and her favourite ever Uber driver.

If laddishness correlates directly with brash references, the greatest lad on show here is Pascoe herself. But by any other measure, LadsLadsLads proves Pascoe to be a multi-dimensional performer delivering intelligent and fresh material in a welcome return to the Fringe.

Sara Pascoe: LadsLadsLads, Pleasance Courtyard (Forth), 2-27 Aug (not 14), 7pm, £9-13.50 – additional shows on 15&16 Aug