Sandi Toksvig Live: My Valentine

‘I still have such enthusiasm for life’ proclaims Toksvig as she bounds onto the Pleasance stage. A little pleased with herself? Perhaps, but loveable all the same.

The half Danish, half British Toksvig has been travelling her whole life, be it as a child following her television correspondent father or as an adult making documentaries for the BBC. Stories of her travels provide much of the material for her hour long show - all told with that particular brand of wit that has been drifting into our living rooms through shows such as ‘Call My Bluff’ and ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ for years.

A natural orator, Toksvig’s clean and gentle humour has the audience hooting with laughter from the opening line, proving stand-up doesn’t have to be boundary testing, cutting edge stuff to make you cry with laughter. Some of her topics, such as not understanding Twitter or self-deprecating comments about her age and shape, are a little tired but she still manages to find some new punch lines and laughs in them.

With the majority of the show being so fantastic the closing ten minutes were a little disappointing. She ceases attempting to be entertaining and instead begins setting the scene to advertise her latest book by explaining the Boer War and the extraordinary stories of women determined to help the war effort. They are delivered in an interesting enough way but the feeling you’re being sold something is inescapable and a little jarring when you have paid to be entertained for an hour.

Topping off the show on a lighter note, she encourages the audience to join her in conducting along to Ode To Joy, which, intentionally or otherwise, also results in a standing ovation. A little cheeky? Yes; do we mind? No. This only stands testament to her personable nature and the love the audience has for her – ultimately, like Toksvig herself, this show is highly entertaining, clever and charming.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

Sandi Toksvig - comedian, novelist, actor, broadcaster, show-off and international treasure - is celebrating publication of her new novel, Valentine Grey, with this brand-new, hilarious afternoon of stand-up, stories and fascinating facts.

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