Sunday 25th September

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Sarah Kendall: One-Seventeen review


Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer and Reviewer

Kendall’s journey through time and space leaves you laughing and moved in her most personal work to date.

The last time I saw Sarah Kendall perform live was at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe, where she delivered Shaken – one of three powerful tales to formed her subsequent hit BBC Radio 4 Australian Trilogy series.  But while impressed by her engaging storytelling, I felt her brusqueness – exacerbated by the boisterous weekend Edinburgh crowd – lessened the impact of her message.

Two years on, that criticism can no longer be levelled.  Despite enduring a difficult time personally, Kendall’s become a much warmer performer, willing to share more personal material in new show One-Seventeen.

As with her previous work, One-Seventeen links the past with the present, but now there’s greater frankness when discussing the latter.  Kendall’s retained her no-nonsense delivery and caustic comedic tongue, but the more intimate moments – when she airs worries about motherhood and the fragility of life – draw the audience deeper into her narrative and help even the lower-brow punchlines to land (the best example being a playful twist to a story about a seemingly deluded grandmother).

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Category: Comedy

Sarah Kendall: Shaken review


Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Despite being an excellent storyteller and multi-award winning comedian, Kendall can’t quite harmonise the two in her new show about the serious consequences of lying.

Shaken begins with Sarah Kendall giving a window into her therapy sessions, to illustrate she’s a flawed human being who feels a constant need to entertain.  That is, she’s a comedian.  Then, as the therapist begins to lose patience with her constant joking and evasion, Kendall’s put on the spot and asked to explain why she’s the way she is.

This moves into the main part of the show, in which Kendall answers her therapist by talking about an incident that happened in her home town of Newcastle, New South Wales, in 1989.  It’s a quiet place, polarised between the onscreen action in the local cinema and the mundanity of life in the adjoining carpark and beyond.  “If Ferris Bueller had been set in my town,” she says, “he’d have smoked a bong, had a wank and gone back to bed.”

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Category: Comedy