SOFIE HAGEN: DEAD BABY FROG
Sofie Hagen has everything that should mean she can’t succeed as a comic, supposedly. She’s Danish (aren’t all Scandis gloomy and ‘noir’?). She’s fat (her word) and as we all know that’s not a cause for jollity, ’cos fat people are just ill (not funny); or lazy, greedy, and overburdening the NHS (even less funny). To cap it all she’s a FEMINIST. You know, those humourless, hairy women who hate men, and can’t take a joke.
Well, meet Sofie the actual comedian, here to do a show about emotional abuse, centred around what her horrid step-grandfather did to her, and it’s called Dead Baby Frog. Why? You’ll have to find out for yourself.
Hagen has a tremendous ability to link with her audience; her warm, friendly approach, disarmingly chatty but carefully-constructed, lets her tackle her subject matter, unpromising as it may seem, head-on. She bubbles with laughter, and sly, pointed gags come thick and fast, while seriously trying to show the realities of what a drip drip of undermining comments from a supposed adult to a vulnerable child (her) can do. This kind of confessional act about a serious subject is a tough call to pull off, and walks a tightrope between real comedy and the risk of becoming self-indulgent therapy for the comedian; or just preaching at its audience. Hagen doesn’t fall into the trap, and has the packed Rondo audience on her side and roaring throughout.
John Christopher Wood