Sofie Hagan is a comedy superhero and her power is dissolving contradictions. The self-proclaimed extreme introvert greets every single member of the audience on the way in. Prior to that, she has come out to the queue carrying a bundle of brightly coloured umbrellas to give to audience members in case the rain comes on again. As she addresses a packed room, her calm, direct manner is somehow never at odds with her dislike of parties, crowds and Friday nights out. She describes her adolescent longing to escape from the general incompetence of her school environment and then reveals her ingenious course of action and its consequences. Throughout everything, she makes it feel normal to feel abnormal, because real “normal” doesn’t exist at all. Nor do dragons, come to think of it, but that’s a story you have to hear from Sofie.
Her soft tones reveal bold truths about her life and ours. Her words are so honest that you feel them in your gut and your tear ducts. Subject matter which would be depressing in lesser hands becomes a rich source of wisdom and experience which bring us uplifting laughs and real joy. Sofie jokes that she is too serious when she gets a chance between the laughs. As in her wonderful “Guilty Feminist” podcasts with Deborah Frances-White, we are reminded that it’s OK to be an imperfect feminist, which is to say an imperfect person, which is to say a human being goddammit. Can you see a contradiction there? No, not any more, because thanks to Sofie, it seems like the false distinctions and mental barriers were never there in the first place.
But don’t let me force her show into neat contradictions. There are abundant, fascinating ideas here which have been washed, hung up in the sunshine and shaken out so that they smell fresh and different. She also has that rare talent, the ability to swear really well, for maximum dramatic and comic effect. This show glows with vibrancy and Sofie leads the way in the 2016 world of comedy with serene, sure-footed ease.
Catch Sofie Hagan at 7.50pm at the Liquid Rooms until 28 August. Free fringe – get there early! More information here