Sam and Helen: Out There

I'm pretty certain this is the first comedy show I've ever been to with an audience dance break. That's all thanks to peppy duo Samantha Baines and Helen Sorren, who greet the audience like old friends and spread enthusiasm like wildfire through the venue. They deliver an enjoyable hour of stand-up and double-act work, although the latter seems to be their stronger suit and fits in more with their show theme of being as "out there" as possible.

Watching Baines and Sorren strut the stage is like meeting up with a couple of old friends.

What exactly is "out there"? This is unfortunately a bit of a flimsy issue in the show. Baines' set on space and Sorren's about being more adventurous are different enough to imply that the theme was tacked onto the two separate stand-up sets. But it's made up for by the introduction of a competition between the two, incorporating team aspects so that the whole audience could be involved. Baines and Sorren excel at including the crowd and making sure everyone has a good time, without any of the interaction segments feeling forced or awkward.

It's clear that both comedians can tell where their strengths lie, and they play to them well. Sorren's physicality manifests itself in her public and private dancers, whereas Baines gives a faux smug air when relating her universe facts (all for the attention of a certain Northern astrologer). They try an improvised musical at the end of the show but it feels out of place with the stronger planned material.

Watching Baines and Sorren strut the stage is like meeting up with a couple of old friends: they're welcoming and offer some gentle laughs all round. I'd really love to see more of that chemistry and sketch-like patter which splits up their individual stand up sets, because they really do work better together.

Reviews by Louise Jones

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Performances

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The Blurb

As seen on BBC, as heard on Hoxton Radio and as titled Funny Women Awards finalists 2014. Comedy duo Samantha Baines and Helen Sorren are out there – not in a weird way just in the sense you might bump into them. 13,000 of you watched their online sketch Busy Battle and now you can see them live! Stand-up comedy, sketches and silly chats. ‘Sam and Helen are bloody hilarious’ (Larry Lamb). ‘Hilarious’ (BroadwayBaby.com). ‘Among those to watch’ (Bruce Dessau, Evening Standard). ‘A natural gift for comedy’ (TheGoodReview.co.uk).

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