Writer: Sofie Hagen
Reviewer: Faye Hadley
The title of Sofie Hagen’s latest Fringe offering comes from a series of grim experiments in the 1800s which concluded that a slowly boiled frog would fail to notice its impending doom. This, coupled with trigger warnings placed on seats, suggests a far more gruelling hour than is on offer. While Hagen skilfully tackles some tough subjects, her warm demeanour keeps the hour feeling light.
During the show’s opening Hagen refers to, and apologises for, her newly developed stage fright. Despite this warning, she never seems ill at ease onstage. In fact, she gives off the impression of one completely comfortable in her style and totally in control of the audience. She also seems to genuinely care for her crowd, taking numerous opportunities to put everyone at ease. Hagen advertises her show as anxiety friendly and it most certainly is. Even an audience member’s phone ringing loudly is met with reassurance that they needn’t worry.
The show predominantly deals with Hagen’s difficult relationship with her step-grandfather. It encompasses numerous anecdotes about her childhood and some of the difficulties there. She is easily able to inject laugh out loud moments into dark subject matter. There are lighter moments too, such as tales of her Westlife obsession and an interesting take on why the Danish language is far superior to English.
There are some sections of the show that are without laughter, which is unsurprising given the subject matter. That said, Hagen has a way with words and keeps these sections entertaining. Her incredibly likeable persona means the audience is willing to go wherever her storytelling takes us.
Hagen is a comedian in her stride. Despite tough subject matter Dead Baby Frog is uplifting, empowering and sweet throughout.
Runs until 28 August 2017 | Image: Contributed