Sara Pascoe: The Musical, Assembly George Square, Edinburgh

 

“It’s actually about adolescence and images of women in the media – you’ve been punked.” It’s not a spoiler to give away the ending of Sara Pascoe’s third Edinburgh show, as it quickly becomes evident that the musical notion is slight at best.

While there are songs and some musical phrases in between, their purpose is to highlight the passages of spoken word that make up ‘Sara Pascoe: The Musical’ - a fact-meets-fantasy monologue about her teenage years. It's a return to the form of her 2010 debut show and a merciful rejection of last year’s whimsy overload.

While we can be fairly sure that the “30 +1 year old”, dressed in a subtle homage to her school uniform, had to move schools and had her heart broken before she was 18, we can be equally assured that she did not invent Revels or “onions that cry when we cut ourselves”.

Best known on the small screen for playing Coco Lomax in ‘Twenty Twelve’ and for roles in ‘Free Agents’ and ‘Campus’, Pascoe’s live work highlights her fertile imagination. She is capable of gymnastic leaps from one concept twist to another without losing sense or her thread and  has a keen ear for subverting her own guiding principles: “I didn’t get both ears pierced because I don’t like to prescribe to gender roles, and because it hurt.”

She  is particularly unhappy with the way females are portrayed in the media. “Women getting dressed” is the catch-all title she gives to women's magazines.  Body issues are dealt with in a nuanced way during tales of her teenage years though a return to the theme at the end for material including a proposed overhaul of Page 3 ( boobs are ok if moobs are also given space) seems a bit schlocky, tacked on for the sake of a resonant conclusion.

It is  also a little disappointing that there are not more musical interludes in the show as, what few there are, are skilful. In one, about falling in love at 16, she sings, “I wish I could get inside your body and be one of your organs.” She certainly touches the funny bone in this show.

Until 27 August, 0131 623 3030

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