Put Miranda Hart in a rocket with an extra dose of feminism and whimsy and you get Samantha Baines’
Baines is an excellent performer with some great puns up her sleeve and a sky-full of good intentions.
Baines takes her springboard from a moment many people relate to: being told in school to choose between the arts and the sciences. In her show she aligns astronomy with comedy: combining the arts and the sciences (much like Professor Brian Cox). Baines then uses this amalgamation to form a broader discussion about women in science, which then broadens into a discussion about women in comedy, and so forth.
In all, the show orbits around a feminist axis. Short anecdotes of her nan punctuate the show with a woman who Baines clearly loves and admires, despite not being a Nobel Prize winning scientist or an astronaut. All the while, Baines works her way through planet puns and some brilliantly whimsical impressions, such as Isaac Newton’s rather ABFAB home-schooling mother. Not all of her puns entirely hit the mark, and her set assumes a very predictable pattern quite quickly, but she delivers everything with an unfaltering enthusiasm and sense of fun.
Baines’ premise is convincing up to a point. However, the show takes the format of a three point plan to impress Professor Brian Cox. A one-woman show about feminism that seeks the singular recognition of one man. It’s at this point that I become lost. Though there is an attempt at the end to bring the focus back around and away from Brian Cox - “there are more important things” - it isn’t entirely pulled off, and makes me wonder what the inclusion of Professor Cox actually brings to the equation.
Though the arc of her set is somewhat confused, Baines is an excellent performer with some great puns up her sleeve and a sky-full of good intentions.