If you’re anything like Sara Schaefer, you probably spend a considerable amount of time these days wondering how and why the political landscape looks the way it does. Over the course of her show, Schaefer employs pop culture references and quick wit to explore the nature of America following the 2016 presidential election. The result? Extremely relevant, sharp-as-a-tack humour that taps into the way many people feel about the current political and cultural climate.
Quite often, Schaefer’s witticisms are doled out in a dry fashion that finds itself perfectly suited to her subject matter; her delivery is sometimes reminiscent of that pervasive “fed up” sensation you get when watching the news, or scrolling through social media, or reading a paper in 2017. This news-induced dread is something Schaefer is keen to talk about, alongside topics like political accountability and conspiracy theorists. What the crowd receives from Schaefer is slice upon slice of social commentary, which manages to be at once funny and poignant.
The title of Schaefer’s stand-up show derives from a song she learned at church camp. Through a few hilarious anecdotes (offered up partly chanted, partly screamed), Schaefer delves into her own opinions about religion. It’s a heavy topic, of course, but her aptitude for storytelling and yowling church camp songs into the mic helps her pull it off.
Schaefer’s pertinent branch of comedy is met with laughter at every turn and, while the punchlines aren’t always side-splitting, there’s not a single moment where she fails to be amusing. She can’t take away all the bad news, but she can make you laugh for sixty minutes.
Words: Morgan Laing
Sara Schaefer: Little White Box, Pleasance Courtyard, 4-28 August (not 14), 7pm