Where/when: Assembly George Square Studios, 18.45
In a room that, as much as the nice people at Assembly can try to hide it, is just a university classroom (there is a classroom clock and a desk in front of the seats that one guy texted under so as not to be seen), it is appropriate that Sarah Kendall’s new show is about a playground lie.
Shaken is structured around a conversation with her therapist on her inability to tell the truth, leading to her to tell a story about a lie from her childhood, and what a story it is. Taking up the best part of the hour, Shaken is incredible simply from a writing perspective, managing to captivate and hold an entire audience (bar that one guy texting) for so long and never to to lose momentum. Kendall is clearly skilled in that regard, a master storyteller whose delivery almost makes it sound like performance poetry, and watching her at work is a thing of wonder.
A recurring theme in the story is the difference between reality and fiction, particularly film, which is apt as the story has as many twists and complications as the greatest of films and you could easily imagine a big screen adaption for it, particularly the ending which I shan’t give away.
That is not to say this show is a feat of storytelling and nothing else, there are constant massive laughs with every punchline being fantastically prepared and some of the smartest callbacks in the business. This is the first show of the Fringe this year that had me in actual tears of laughter, at times being almost painfully funny.
Essentially, you should go see this show as it’s a fantastic story told by one of the best comics working in the country, if not the world, at the moment.
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