Sophie Wu is Minging, She Looks Like She's Dead

Hang on... 15 in 1998? I was only 8 in 1998. So... 30? 31? Really? Sophie Wu doesn’t look dead, she’s actually very beautiful, charming, and youthful. Her speech patterns are very much the ones I heard at school. Perhaps her role as a student in Fresh Meat tricked me, because the idea that she’s practically of a different generation is freaking me out.

Anyone who is a sucker for the wallflowers and misfits of this world will fall head over heels for Sophie Wu

Being a teenager in the nineties wasn’t so different from being a teenager in the noughties. There’s still the drunken spewings, tragic fumblings, the search for your killer look. Sophie Wu’s show is a series of stories from the year she turned 15. She’s impressively candid – assuming that these stories are largely true – and certainly what’s known as a ‘natural story teller’. She is a confident performer despite possessing an endearing fragility. Steeped in the comic phraseology of this generation (for example, the boys in her class possess the ‘banter look’) her stories will appeal to all the awkward teenagers born after 1985.

Sophie’s tales are well structured and written in a familiar, playful vernacular which gives her show a youthful immediacy. At no point does it feel like the events we are hearing happened more than a decade ago: their significance seems to bear on Sophie as if they happened within the last year. Nostalgia isn’t what underpins these stories, despite being one of the stronger feelings elicited in an audience desperate revisit their teenage years, when the verb ‘to finger’ could be used with gleeful abandon. These are simple recollections, zany but sane, slightly bitter but never spiteful. Wu seems to have genuine affection for the characters in her past.

Anyone who, like me, is a sucker for the wallflowers and misfits of this world will fall head over heels for Sophie Wu. This is an easy hour and a must-see for fans of Sophie’s performance in Fresh Meat, as well as for anyone who was a bit weird at school (and is probably still a bit weird now). My fascination with this suggests it’s probably time to grow up. Oh, to be 15 again.

Reviews by James Macnamara

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The Blurb

Star of Channel 4’s Fresh Meat, Sophie Wu rises magnanimously above taking petty revenge for her teenage humiliations, in her well-balanced, light and sane debut show. ‘Sophie Wu is almost too good’ **** (Times). ‘Sophie is an isolated child’ (Mrs Peckham, Geography). ‘Sophie Wu is unnervingly good’ **** (Evening Standard). ‘Sophie's had an ongoing battle with acne, but has now developed nasty looking eczema formed in sore patches behind her knees and elbows’ (Pastoral Care Report, age 16). I mean, who was this absolute raging pervert studying my knees and elbows?

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