Sara Pascoe vs History (4 stars)

This article is from 2014

Sara Pascoe vs History

Tremendously polished and thought-provoking performer with meticulously crafted piece of work

Dazzled by flash photography from the very start of her show, Sara Pascoe is forced to set off on the wrong foot. She gently chastises a number of audience members before apologising for her understandable frustration. Although the comic worries that she’s lost momentum, she’s done nothing of the sort. Once Pascoe gets going she’s an unstoppable force, tearing through deeply personal but always relatable material, proving herself to be a remarkably focused comedian.

On relationships she illustrates her points with wonderfully candid anecdotes from the past, including a fantastic routine about fancying the various members in the formative Take That. Pascoe then delves way back to our ancestors as she works through the sexual evolution of humankind. It may sound a bit dry on paper, but in her hands it’s fascinating, hilarious and endlessly engaging, and it never comes across like she’s just reeling off facts. Everything she’s researched has been parsed through her inquisitive mind, extracting compelling arguments about male and female sexuality.

A strong supporter for the No More Page Three campaign, she sets out a wonderful plan to debunk that sexist institution before tackling Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’. It’s a song that’s been deconstructed to death over the past year, yet she finds even more to say about its rampant misogyny, and manages to do so in a diatribe that’s both piercing and rational.

Sara Pascoe vs History is well-honed, incisive and often jaw-droppingly frank, particularly when discussing her current relationship and her boyfriend’s proclivity for porn. This impassioned material, although constantly captivating, might not always be out and out funny. But Sara Pascoe is a tremendously polished and thought-provoking performer, and her show is a meticulously crafted piece of work.

Assembly George Square, 623 3030, until 25 Aug (not 11), 8.15pm, £10.50--£12 (£9--£10).

Sara Pascoe vs History

Intelligent observations and quirky storytelling from the actress and stand-up.