Before even starting the show, Sara Schaefer has the advantage of a unique perspective. Brought up in the Bible Belt of America and being sent to Christian Camp every year, she has an outlook that is both interesting and hilarious to the British viewer. However, it’s a shame she isn’t quite prepared for the rhythm of an Edinburgh crowd.
A great show from a promising comedic mind.
The show begins reservedly, with Schaefer coming onto stage to no music, with little energy and an almost deadpan persona. Her initial crowd work feels slightly unenthused and leaves the room lukewarm. She seems at total ease on stage, however, and as soon as she starts some material about screams, which breaks the mono-tone, the variation begins to match the quality of the material and a great show begins.
Her cynical observations and hilarious stories, ranging from clowns to crafting, are a winning combination when paired with fearless over-sharing and fantastic characterisation. There are however points where the joke continues past the point of the punchline and Schaefer leaves the silence hanging, clearly comfortable with the quiet but perhaps making the audience nervous. This, combined with a hit and miss ability to explain American references that may be lost on the audience leads to some awkward pauses and Schaefer becoming noticeably frustrated.
The show does build to a brilliant climax with hysterical pay-off. It feels at times with this later, more sensitive material, however, that the audience are looking for the reassurance that it’s okay to laugh – a message which never came.
Schaefer is undoubtedly a talented comic with plenty of incredulous stories to share. Hopefully as her run continues she’ll find a way of communicating better to a different crowd but until then, this is still a great show from a promising comedic mind.