Sarah Kendall: One-Seventeen
- Kirstyn Smith
- 22 August 2017
A storytelling hour that might be just too low on laughs
Sarah Kendall knows how to weave a good yarn. One-Seventeen is a collection of stories celestially linked together: her father's obsession with seeing Halley's comet, her son's love of space, and a running theme of looking up to the stars when things are particularly emotional. Kendall tells us about a number of quite traumatic moments from her life, jumping between the 80s and modern day: 'the best way to make a memory rock solid is to associate it with pain and fear'. There's a car crash, two devastating diagnoses, and her younger self's relatable sadness upon realising life isn't going to be like a Spielberg film.
Everything about the hour, though, is presented as a storytelling show, and while storytelling and comedy are obviously and utterly interlinked, the joke count here just isn't high enough. The staging and lighting lean heavily on drama: whenever Kendall has something poignant to say, framing her in a spotlight in the middle of the stage reeks of telling rather than showing. Sarah Kendall's ability to pull the audience into her memories is remarkable, but One-Seventeen is a storytelling show that just happens to be funny.
Assembly George Square Studios, until 27 Aug, 7pm, £10.50–£12.50 (£9.50–£11.50).