Thursday, 10 April 2014

Sara Pascoe VS The Truth, April 9, 2014 ****

Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Melbourne Town Hall until April 20, 2014 
Star rating:****
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Full review also online in Herald Sun. KH

Nietzschian Nihilism wrapped in a charmingly kooky package

UK comic Sara Pascoe is relaxed, charming and unassuming while she totally upends our belief in reality with her hilariously twisted philosophy.

She is casually dressed in jeans and a T-shirt that declares, “There are no facts, only interpretations,” a quote from Nihilist philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, that provides the bizarre basis of all that follows.

Pascoe doesn’t do self-deprecating comedy but, instead, uses her weird, convoluted logic to sneak up on us with unexpected twists and tag lines.

Despite her easygoing, laconic and kooky style, Pascoe’s material is thought provoking as she tells serious stories about personal or social issues – feminism, burkas, elder-abuse, feeling unloved, phobias, pornography – then flips them with an unexpected gag.

Her fears are manifold and wide-ranging and she gets plenty of comic mileage from her spider phobia and her paranoia that she is being watched.

Many of her topics are cheerfully accessible including hairdressers, search engines, alcohol, cats, a hilarious solution to page 3 girlie photos, and her obsession with Andie MacDowell.

However, she challenges us with issues such as nursing homes, faith, suffering and identity, provides a fascinating, political perspective on bestseller, Fifty Shades of Grey, and creates a cunning metaphor about choosing partners being like a train ride.

Pascoe is a master of reincorporation, leaps of logic and absurd arguments that support impossible ideas, and her show is a gift that is riddled with twisted life lessons.

Kate Herbert

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