Skip to main content

Review of Sara Pascoe: Animal at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

I like Sara Pascoe a lot. There is something really endearing and innocent about her storytelling and performance. Even when she is talking about, and even demonstrating hand jobs.

This is only Sara's second tour and having had the pleasure of seeing her first last year, I am happy to see the style remains the same. Her stuttering, sometimes hesitant delivery really works for me, as it's a nice change from the often over confident feeling performers, who sometimes alienate rather than charm. There is also an apparent (but unneeded) wariness of interacting with the audience which facinates. Animal is a heavily prepared affair, that at mere mention of Winston Churchill and his history in India from the audience threatens to derail at any moment. However while Sara at first seems unsure how hatred of Tony Blair has moved her into one audience members loathing of Churchill, she eventually makes it work excellently, even slotting it perfectly into the arrival of latecomers expertly.

The tour title of Animal is loose in context, as the show moves through human life with anecdotes of the like that you are not really sure are true or not. One particular one relating to life insurance appears to be true as Sara allows an audience member to check a disheveled letter for proof. It makes a change from the constant suspicion that no anecdotes are really true. I suppose even comedians occasionally tell true stories in their acts as we all have strange things happen to us now and again.

There are many brilliant moments as Sara weaves us through ninety odd minutes of entertainment. You will leave aghast and never looking at an electric toothbrush the same again. The tale of the sparkly top is a cracker (and a moral one) and the burden of old people feels on this day that I write this even more appropriate (I will leave you to fill the blanks there).

Sara Pascoe is a really relaxing form of comedienne, never aggressive like some are, and although she is tremendously rude at times, it is never offensive and I detected just the single F word, which I always feel is used so lazily by modern comedians. She is brilliant and comes extremely recommended.

««««

Performance reviewed: Friday 17th June, 2016 at the Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton.

Sara Pascoe: Animal was performed at the Royal & Derngate (Royal) on Friday 17th June, 2016 only. Her website for future tour dates can be found at http://www.sarapascoe.com/

For further details about the Royal & Derngate visit their website at http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Blue/Orange at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

The challenging and socially relevant Blue/Orange by Joe Penhall was published in 2000 and back then, this caustic exploration of mental health, and more specifically black mental health issues, was a tremendously relevant play. When it debuted on stage in London, the cast of just three was played by Bill Nighy, Andrew Lincoln and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Director James Dacre doesn't have those names to play with so much in his cast, however here, he has worked with the writer himself to rework the play for a more modern audience. Does it still shock, and is the relevance still there today? Sadly, perhaps, the answer is yes, as doctors Bruce Flaherty and Robert Smith come to verbal blows over the health of patient Christopher, at times, you feel 21 years shed little light on how mental health is approached. Many references in the script, still sit unquestionably in the year 2000, however, with this reworking, one thing has changed dramatically. In the original version of the play, the two

Review of Sister Act by the Northampton Musical Theatre Company at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

South Pacific at Royal & Derngate last year set a remarkable benchmark for an "amateur" production, with a large talented cast, superb vocals, sets and a polish up there with a professional production. Sister Act, this years production from the Northampton Musical Theatre Company was more of the same, but perhaps taken up a notch or two. Sister Act is a musical based on the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg comedy and was first performed in 2009. Written by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner, it is a likable and fun musical which genuinely came as a surprise to me. The opening scene at Curtis's Bar and Nightclub is to be honest not the best though and genuinely didn't fill me with much hope. It feels as if it gives nothing to the cast, although it creates the premise of the story coupled with the incident outside the bar. Likewise, I didn't take much to the Police Station scene either, so it didn't bode well. When we reach the Queen Of Angels Cathedral though, this show

Review of Shrek (NMTC) at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

Three and a half years ago, in a land far far away, in a world very different to the one we are now in, I saw the touring professional production of Shrek The Musical , it was a mixed bag of quality, tilted extremely heavily in favour of one particular character (not the one you might expect) and not firing on all cylinders much of the time. One and a half years after my last visit to the Derngate theatre, I return to see the homegrown Northampton Musical Theatre Company's own take on the very same show. Would they be able to breathe more life into the show than the professionals did in that distant land? It is a bit of a yes and no really. Pretty much all of this is done to the best possible standard, and at times, with being an amateur show you could easily forget, they all have normal day jobs. The show oozes professional quality at times. The set looks magnificent, the costumes (from Molly Limpet's Theatrical Emporium) are superb, and as ever with NMTC, the backstage team c