Review: Sarah Pascoe V History

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SARAH Pascoe’s cleverness is showing, and it becomes her. This year’s show is all about the history of her failed relationships and the magic of falling in love and moving in with her boyfriend (a fellow comic).

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It’s about her hopes and dreams – children, happily ever after – and the potential pitfalls that lie ahead, such as her man’s lack of enthusiasm for parenting, and the threat posed by advancing years, now that she’s in her thirties. So far so run of the mill you might think, albeit observational humour enhanced by a delivery full of wide-eyed, deadpan “innocence”.

But is this really what the show’s about?

With a leap and a pratfall – on Sunday she lost her place and took a while to find it again, though the glitch proved endearing – Pascoe describes her research into historical romances, which lead her to examine the biology of human sexuality and human evolution. As befits the venue – one of the University’s lecture halls – the hour is full of fascinating facts, delivered with a determinedly female-centric spin.

Pascoe’s goal in doing all this research was to feel better about herself, and by extension, to encourage her fellow females to do the same.

Given Pascoe’s slant, she has some controversial ideas about Miley Cyrus and Blurred Lines, but explains herself carefully and persuasively. She also has an inspired solution to the problem of Page Three, which came to her in a dream. You’ll learn the importance of clitoral placement, and why small breasted women continue to thrive.

Her great skill is in peppering the educational elements with punchlines, making effective use of comic dissonance, so that a sentence never winds up quite where you’d expect. It was intriguing watching the men in the room – and there were plenty of them – listening raptly and laughing uproariously.

Until 25 August