Theatre review: Sara Pascoe – The Musical!, Assembly George Square (Venue 3), Edinburgh

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IN CLOTHES evoking a school uniform, her voice veering between ingenue and world-weary adult, Essex girl Sara Pascoe tells us the story of her adolescence, punctuated by snippets of song.

Sara Pascoe – The Musical!

Assembly George Square (venue 3)

Star rating: * * *

The opening number teeters terribly close to cutesy, but she soon reveals that she’s in control of her material, which gets deeper and darker as the hour progresses.

Pascoe’s personal is political. Every story about the childhood misadventures of her over-achieving young self, teenage love angst and a ceaseless stream of humiliations, opens the door on a grittier exposé of sexism and the portrayal of women in the media.

Her humour is black, and her skill is shown by the fact that we’re simultaneously wincing and laughing as she tears strips off women’s magazines, breast augmentation, and ice-cream, which she classifies as a method of self abuse.

She cheekily addresses the dilemma facing female comics: why is it okay to say penis, but bad to talk about periods? And promptly launches into a lengthy tale about her first menses that has us honking.

Autobiography as shaggy dog story is an old, old trope, but Pascoe give it a fresh spin.

• Until 27 August. Today 9:15pm.