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Home arrow Archive: EdFringe 2013 arrow Sara Pascoe vs the Truth
Sara Pascoe vs the Truth
Published on Wednesday, 28 August 2013

4 stars

Assembly George Square (venue website)
31 Jul, 1-12, 14-26 Aug, 8:00pm-9:00pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Recommended for age 14+ only.

With her meaningful title and her T-shirt that quotes Nietzsche, you might think Sarah Pascoe is trying to fool you into thinking her stand-up show is philosophical. But you’d be wrong. Wrong about her trying to fool you, that is. Because this show, with its turned-about ideas and quite rigorous logic, really isn’t that far for a comic spin on the trappings of philosophy – a field which can get just as ridiculous as Pascoe’s trains of thought often do.

Her faux-naïve style, and claims that she doesn’t see why she should accept certain things as true, lead her into the realms of reductionism. A philosopher might ask if they can be sure they really exist; Pascoe in turn asks if she can be sure life isn’t a film, scrabbling back to first principles and finding very little evidence that can convince her otherwise. But where Decartes proclaimed “I think therefore I am”, Pascoe ends up with “Andie MacDowell’s career, therefore the world is real”. It’s compelling, clever stuff.

Later on in the show, Pascoe presents a convincing case as to why it’s impossible to believe anything anyone ever says to you, with a raft of evidence. (Again the conclusion involves MacDowell.) It’s all presented in Pascoe’s easy, charmingly laid-back style, which almost belies how smart this set is. She talks about this year’s unofficial fringe theme, feminism, and also about veganism, making offbeat and interesting arguments for both.

The only downside to this absorbing piece is that it feels bitty and underworked. Andie MacDowell references aside, nothing links together, and the ending is distinctly weak. But although it’s episodic, each of those episodes is a lot of fun.

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