Sara Barron reckons that being in the UK for seven years and in a relationship for eight has sucked the pep out of her, the enthusiasm and entitlement that are otherwise Americans’ manifest destiny.
Sara Barron: Enemies Closer, Pleasance Courtyard – Upstairs(Venue 33) * * * *
Approaching her fifth decade, the New Yorker is instead sustained by vicariously gorging on her single friends’ romantic humiliations with a schadenfreude bordering on connoisseurship and a clairvoyant’s capacity for judgment.
Whether it is the way she talks of summoning up tears for wedding speeches or her how she can’t even manage the modicum of effort it would take to cut her frenemies adrift, Barron isn’t slow in convincing you of, and allying you to, her cynicism. A hasty death is wished for an older relative and we root for her.
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She works the room with a swagger and initially at least, her vocabulary is inflected with Instagram-isms, parodying the online pseuds she despises. She strives to make connections with individual punters, but the bitchiness is infectious, with pockets of the crowd erupting spontaneously, setting off others as suppressed, terrible thoughts are acknowledged.
She offers some glimpses of vulnerability, as in the obsequious way she used to prostrate herself before willing men rather like an Elizabethan courtier currying favour.
Essentially though, this segment is just another opportunity to demonstrate her physical comedy chops. And besides, she’s got the literal measure of all the penises she’s encountered.
In her life’s work of rushing to extrapolate someone’s character from the tiniest amount of information, distilled into the crowd-pleasing game, Hero vs C***, she wobbles in her feelings towards James Corden.
But her Moby Dick, the one unlucky male who got away from her, was the flatmate of a former lover. And it’s his fate affords this wickedly funny show its delicious denouement.
Until 25 August. Today 8:30pm.