Sara Pascoe New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth Friday, November 16

Comedian Sara Pascoe
Comedian Sara Pascoe

LadsLadsLads is comic Sara Pascoe’s most honest, heartfelt and personal show to date.

The Edinburgh Fringe smash and West End sell-out is full of jokes, hope and white wine, and is described by the award-winning comic as ‘the thinking person’s stag do.’

She explains: ‘It’s sometimes hard to summarise what a show is about, but I wanted to give people the sense that it is fun and celebratory, but rather than about being about to get married, it’s the exact opposite.

‘Having fun, trying new things in a way of being braver and more self-reliant. Some of my shows in the past have had serious aspects, theories and research and this one is lighter. It’s like a party, except only I get to talk and you have to sit there watching me.

She’s been on the road with the show since September, and seen it develop over the run.

‘As my comedy is personal there are always updates, this show develops with recent escapades. My friends can persuade me to do anything by saying “you’ll get five minutes out of it”. That’s who I was recently tricked into watching a West Ham football match and seeing the film It. They were both equally scary and I got exactly zero minutes out of them.’

Next spring she releases her second book, Sex Power Money, the follow-up to 2016’s Animal.

‘It’s about porn and sex work from a historical and evolutionary perspective. I am taking biology and the plasticity of human sexuality into account, and also laying out the whole spectrum of arguments in the debate about these aspects of our society.

‘I’m also trying to explore power dynamics in sexual exchanges which are not as clearly defined as paying for sex, things like men paying for dinner, the abuse by powerful, rich men such as Weinstein and Trump. But with jokes – as with my last book, Animal. It’s talking about serious, important stuff, but keeping it accessible and stimulating rather than hectoring.

And she’s found the writing books has changed her approach to stand-up.

’I think I’m funnier now because I can spend more time with ideas for the books, after a day’s writing, doing a gig is a release.

‘I only want to be silly, and it doesn’t feel as selfish, if that makes sense? Comedy feels like a child’s job, you can’t believe you’re getting paid to do it. But there are huge things going on in the world and sometimes you feel a responsibility because you’ve a mic in your hand. But now my responsible side, which cares about the state of the world, can go into book writing and stand-up can be a distraction from that.’

Sara first took to stand-up in 2007, and she’s seen positive changes in the scene since she began.

‘I think audiences are changing and that directly influences the acts. Comedy used to be a crueller place, and while there is still lots of that kind of stuff (and lots of people who love it) there is a lot more diversity now.

‘And I hope that continues. Live comedy is flourishing within an economic downturn and that is because the people making jokes are from a much wider spectrum. Their experiences are fresh and exciting and audiences want that. It’s not the individual cis, white, able-bodied man’s fault that historically, comedy clubs were so reliant on stereotype and tropes, but only one type of person’s reality was being reflected and I’m glad that’s improving.’

SARA PASCOE – LADSLADSLADS

New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

Friday, November 16

newtheatreroyal.com