Review: Sophie Duker: Venus at Pleasance
4★★★★

For a debut show at the Fringe, Sophie Duker has managed to craft a near-flawless hour packed full of humour and heartfelt reflection which many of the comedians that have been on the circuit for circa ten years would kill for.

Some hard hitting shows in recent memory at the festival have allowed the comedy element of their show to take a back seat, opting for the majority of the hour to focus on somber tales. Venus manages to juggle both, to deliver a standout show which fully justified its inclusion in this year’s Best Newcomer category at the Dave Comedy Awards. 

Assumptions that people form based on race and sexuality are a focal point in the show and bind the hour together very well. Undeniably,  it’s a hard listen at times, particularly when historical slavery and racism anecdotes are retold. 

The subject matter isn’t told to deliberately upset, however, the real beauty of the show is the message that in spite of the continued struggles many face in day to day life, it’s important to be proud of who you are and be yourself. 

The tongue in cheek callback ending was further proof of a well-crafted comedian that knows how to leave a crowd on a high instead of aiming a final gut punch. 

This was a hugely enjoyable hour that flew by from a wonderfully confident and assured stand up comedian. Duker has a very bright future ahead of her and could well turn out to be a role model for young kids growing up and eyeing a future in comedy.

Sophie Duker: Venus at Pleasance Below, until 25 Aug, 7:00 pm. (Extra show at Pleasance Dome, 25 Aug, 5:40 pm.

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