Review: Sarah Silverman

Sat Feb 9 2013, Bloomsbury Theatre

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Time Out Ratings

<strong>Rating: </strong>3/5

Anyone who was at Sarah Silverman’s last London gig – at the Hammersmith Apollo back in 2008 – can vouch that it was a car crash. After a late start, the US comic delivered just 45 minutes of material (which any fan who owned her ‘Jesus is Magic’ DVD had already heard), leaving the 3,500-strong crowd who’d paid up to £50 a pop feeling ripped-off and confused.

Five years later, she’s plucked up the courage to step in front of a British crowd once more, this time at the far more intimate Bloomsbury Theatre, with tickets at half the price. And it’s a success… just about.

Skipping out to her walk-on music sporting bunches and denim shorts, Silverman quickly sets the tone with a smart, throwaway rape gag. She may be cutesy-sounding, but this sharp stand-up isn’t so innocent. In fact, rape crops up a lot in her 70-minute set, and while she’s occasionally shocking for the sake of it, there’s plenty of intelligence behind her fearlessly funny routines, and she softens the blow with her seemingly naive persona.

But even with the reduced entry fee and small venue, the scrappy mix of old material and brand-new jokes is a little disappointing. It’s a solidly funny show, but a good chunk of tonight’s set is identical to the Hammersmith gig, a whole half a decade ago, and Silverman often unapologetically refers to notes and tests vague ideas.

The audience, however, don’t seem to mind. Unlike her last UK gig, there are no boos or angry heckles tonight. Second time around, Silverman won us over.

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