Sofie Hagen: Shimmer Shatter
A gently powerful hour about abandonment and awkwardness
This article is from 2016.
To Sofie Hagen's shock and bemusement she was recently nominated as Comedian of the Year in her Danish homeland, up against three acts who were established names before she'd even started in stand-up. That lavish ceremony takes place right at the end of this Fringe and given her fear of social situations ('all people are too many people'), you wonder whether that awkward prospect has ruined her month in Edinburgh. Being on stage is where she is at her most comfortable, and despite, or perhaps because of her softly-spoken way, there is a gentle power to much of Shimmer Shatter.
The follow-up to her Best Newcomer-winning show Bubblewrap is another sombre treatise on solitude and betrayal. Last year she cursed Brian McFadden for ever leaving Westlife, and here she opens up about a father who abandoned her at an early age only to return and bolt once again at the worst possible moment. The final punchline is a withering put-down of her dad who is tracked down by the Danish press, much to the surprise of Hagen herself, annoyed that a journalist succeeded in finding a phone number for him when she had long failed. Despite the occasionally bleak subject matter (she seems curiously interested in serial killer Ed Gein and reveals depressingly abusive behaviour within the comedy industry), her show merrily skips along aided by a willingness to open up about the sillier details that mask a sadder truth (her own early marriage to a piece of wood being a prime example).
She might prefer to take refuge in the corner of any room (and she suggests you don't invite her to a party unless you want to hear her vibe-dampening views on the patriarchy), but in the world of comedy, Sofie Hagen is deservedly centre stage.
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