Sofie Hagen @ Liquid Room, PBH Free Fringe

2015's Best Newcomer returns with a terrific show

Review by Ben Venables | 25 Aug 2016
  • Sofie Hagen

For Sofie Hagen, discomfort goes in tandem with company. She feels more at ease when alone, however claustrophobic the space she finds herself in. Not that we'd know it from her performance in Shimmer Shatter: she greets everyone as they arrive and thanks them as they leave; she's even decked out a few decorations on the stage to make us feel more at home. She's a convivial host and radiates a relaxed confidence throughout the hour. It really is something special to see Hagen on such form.

Of course, this is what stand-up allows her to do. In contrast, her everyday life is one of lingering doubts, falling for men who are naive at best – as thick as two short planks really – with long-faded but embarrassing memories bobbing up to the surface. Delightfully the latter go together, as she recounts the day her eight-year-old self decided to marry. And her first husband was indeed a right plank, although literally so. As we discover though, marrying an inanimate object was one of the least memorable events of the day. Moreover, Hagen goes on to show through the example of one of her wedding guests that everybody has their own quirky way of looking at things.

She loses none of her killer instinct here and both her mostly absent father and a repugnant comedy promoter are taken care of with the clean assassination we've come to expect. Overall though, Shimmer Shatter is a warm, subtly empowering hour, which makes all our individual peculiarities the characteristic that simultaneously binds us together.

Sofie Hagen: Shimmer Shatter, Liquid Room (Warehouse), 6-28 Aug 7.50pm, PBH Free Fringe