1 Woman, a Dwarf Planet and 2 Cox: Samantha Baines

Pleasance “This” Venue / 3-18th Aug (15.30)

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Material :four-stars Delivery :five-stars  Laughs : four-stars

The setting of Samantha Baines’ contribution to the Edinburgh Fringe 2016 is rather more interesting tahn your standard stand-up –  because if you arrive early, you may be placed in charge of dinging the Pun Master’s Bell. I liked this idea as puns are often missed without due care and attention, particularly if crafted as slickly as they are by Sam.  Some of her material is cheesier and more obvious than the glaring moon, don’t get me wrong. But I must admit, there were a few puns that would have slipped past my own gaze, if it hadn’t been for the ding – which invariably lead to an  “ahh”  followed promptly by a  “doh”!  But it can make you feel only human when a pun slips by you, especially when Sam needs to also prompt the bell master, into dinging the dong in the first place.

In any case, Sam spat jokes out like a leakage of matter from a blackhole of complete banter and the faces Sam pulled were like watching a dance off between opposing gravitational forces. Tickled my ribs like a martian with twelve arms and little sucker punch blobs for hands, so it did. Perhaps, in future, some David Bowie music could be measured in? Just to add a little third dimension to the equation, you know? It would make for a good entry/exit soundtrack and could also fill the subtly awkward silence during the reading of the thesis, which otherwise I thought was a great segment. Gives a justified reason to break out those dance moves too Sam, which I could see were already being contained like a nebula about to turn super nova!

I love that this woman uses her brain to think outside all boxes, and that her face becomes a canvas for the constellation of her emotion to explode. Sam applies a great use of sarcasm with excellent timing and slightly self deprecating appreciation of her own ego. The oxymoron is genius.  Not entirely sure whether this is a purposeful technique or just a very honed natural ability, but it certainly works for a strong delivery.

Heckle at your own peril in this show, cause the girl will beam you up like you were desperately seeking to be probed then leave the audience laughing at you, through a trans-code of pity and confusion; until you wonder to yourself, why seeking for attention while you were meant to be observing, was ever an idea that you forgot to actually think about, before your brain let it take off from your tongue, at a speed fairly slower than light.

Would love to have a pint with this woman, and would feel more than delighted to take my own Nanna or any other family member to see Sam’s show again. This act is one of my favourites this year so far, and the venue organisers have nailed the timing at which is appears. Just what you might fancy between a spot of lunch and your dinner, to heat you up into interconnected bi-lateral thinking, which can then help shift your dimensions of observation into the right gear, for taking in more festivities over the remainder of your evening, on planet Earth. Samantha Baines – Rock Solid mate! Shine on you crazy diamond.

Reviewer : Bobbi McKenzie

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