Dressed in a red jumpsuit, red shoes and on a red carpet, Sofie Hagen comes on stage to to entry music she has reused from last year’s show. It is dramatic in tone, with an offstage voice asking us if we’re ready to hear about emotional trauma.
However, when she comes on stage, Hagen assures us that unlike her past shows at the Fringe, this one will be positive. She discusses her therapy that helped her get to this point, and then begins the show by outlining the differences between Danish and British culture – a set which the audience particularly enjoy. She compares their respective Queens and the tedious British politeness which can make tasks like emailing a drawn-out exercise. Hagen is witty in subtle ways, with many of her laughs coming from facial expressions alone. Likewise, she is clearly very intuitive and analytical when it comes to picking apart cultures for comedy, knowing what to address and where to draw the line.
Despite going on to talking about heavy topics at times, the mood remains light and cheerful as promised. The bulk of the show is centred around her being invited on a sex holiday in Swansea. Indeed, amongst the expected trials and tribulations of the journey there and beyond, the comedian incorporates topics of memory, deceit and how the human brain processes these things. She doesn’t employ any large props or over-the-top set design, just carefully thought-out storytelling which all comes full circle at the end of the show.
Hagen is sarcastic and self-depreciating, but she has a very friendly aura, one which wouldn’t make you fear sitting in the front row. She deals with tricky and deep topics well, and come the end of the performance, she does in fact address her emotional trauma. She opens up about one particular experience, but does so with precision and eloquence. Nonetheless, the mood changes slightly, and just as the audience wonders whether she will manage to bring the show back to comedy and end on a high, she does, making one final joke before leaving the stage.
Sofie Hagen: The Bumswing is on at Pleasance Dome: Queen Dome
At 19:00 until 25th August
Book tickets here
Image: Pleasance Press Office