Liquid Rooms Annexe, Edinburgh
Last year, Sofie Hagen picked up the gong for best newcomer at the Edinburgh Fringe, so you might have expected her to go for a bigger venue this time around – but no, she’s back on the Free Fringe at the Liquid Rooms again, and she’s at the door to greet us as we go in, a nice touch. Tonight is her last show of the festival, so she gives away a couple of tartan blankets, telling us that she won’t be needing them again.
She launches into her set. This year, it’s mostly about her difficult ‘friendship’ with her father, her problems with relationships, and her uncanny ability to suck the life out of any party she attends, mostly because her idea of small talk is to discuss the life of the serial killer, Ed Gein.
It’s interesting material, but Hagen’s real appeal is as a feminist icon, somebody who refuses to kowtow to the popular conceptions of what a woman ought to be. I find myself laughing along throughout the set and occasionally applauding when she makes a particularly telling point. All right, she might not yet have the power and pertinence of somebody like Sarah Kendall, but she’s still only young and has plenty of time to develop as a performer. Meanwhile, the quaintly titled Shimmer Shatter will do nicely.
As we leave, she’s at the door with the collection bucket and a box of badges, still smiling – and no doubt pleased to have made it through another three weeks of Festival madness in one piece.