Angela Barnes: Hot Mess

There is something comforting about Angela Barnes’ Hot Mess. This show appears cleverly self-deprecating on the surface. Coupled with Barnes' trademark razor-sharp wit there is a righteous fire that softly simmers under the entire show.

Coupled with Barnes' trademark razor-sharp wit there is a righteous fire that softly simmers under the entire show

Going into extreme detail about her lockdown, we learn about Barnes’ self-improvement kick, on top of her engagement and ‘bradigan’ designs. Barnes’ comedy comes from a place of being incredibly self-assured that she is right, but in a very British fashion. Balancing the more revolutionary nature of what she says with common sense, we are not entirely roused enough to find pitchforks, but enough so that we are convinced to see things the way she sees them.

It’s a rather comfortable show on some level, mainly because it feels a lot like a fireside evening chat with wine than watching a stand-up. Barnes is an incredibly authentic comedian and hearing her recount her experiences seems so real in comparison to some comics, mostly because it doesn't feel like she is exaggerating. Barnes finds the amusing out of the ordinary, and that does make her one of the finest comedians in Britain.

This is a funny, affirming and slightly wistful show about friendship and challenging societies’ rules and assumptions, whether it is washing vindaloo sauce off of chicken or dancing to Kermit the Frog’s Rainbow Connection (a stellar choice). Presenting a new perspective on life, Hot Mess is a ‘timeless’ and ‘elegant’ show that certainly reaches out to us and teaches us more about life than we knew before.

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Reviews by Katerina Partolina Schwartz

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The Blurb

Angela Barnes (Mock The Week, Live at the Apollo, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and former chair of BBC Radio 4's The News Quiz) has good intentions but trying to live your best life, as it turns out, is really bloody hard. Stand-up, stories and jokes from '...a gloriously down-to-earth, straight-talking and extremely funny comic' (Guardian). 'Well thought out, quick-fire one-liners are delivered by a down-to-earth and likeable stage persona' **** ( 'An extremely entertaining fresh slant' **** ( 'Great punchlines galore' **** (

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