Comedy review: Sarah Kendall: One-Seventeen

Stories make us human. Against a backdrop of twinkling stars Sarah Kendall tells a collection of interlocking stories.
Kendalls narrative spans hemispheres. Picture: Rosalind FurlongKendalls narrative spans hemispheres. Picture: Rosalind Furlong
Kendalls narrative spans hemispheres. Picture: Rosalind Furlong

Assembly George Square Studios (Venue 17)


There is the story of the beautiful girl who taught a teenage Kendall how to cartwheel on a beach, the tale of her children’s smelly hamster and a yarn about a snake uncovered in a backyard.

The stories span the world. Her childhood and her growing up was in Australia but Kendall now lives in south-west London, and has children of her own.

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She flips her hand in a circular movement whenever her narrative flips from the northern hemisphere to the south.

Kendall is a storyteller at the height of her powers. She will make you burst out laughing, she will make you gasp with horror and at moments you will find it hard not to cry.

Her theme is what distinguishes good luck from bad and the way life can turn on an instant.

She sometimes plays little tricks with truth and falsehood but her stories are fundamentally true to life, reflective, wise and sometimes a little bit messy.

Kendall was a stand-up before she forged her storytelling style and has the ability to make an audience laugh at will.

Her loving but perpetually fraught mother is a source of endless fun and she also introduces her rebellious grandmother and talks about her little son.

It is a family divided by geography but united by shared experience.

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Kendall’s narrative is fluent, simply told and astonishingly beautiful in places. Like life her tone can turn in an instant, taking you from sadness to joy in a moment.

She’ll make you laugh, she’ll make you think. And as you leave the theatre and walk out under the stars Kendall’s stories will still be running around in your head.

Until 27 August. Today 7pm.