The winner of Best Newcomer at this years Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Danish comic Sofie Hagen shows no sign of stopping in her rise to the top of the comedy world. Laugh Out London’s Tim Lewis explains why you shouldn’t miss her Soho Theatre run of the award-winning Bubblewrap.
Sofie Hagen is bringing her Edinburgh Newcomer Award winning show, Bubblewrap to the Soho Theatre later this month and it would be really odd for you not to be there. To quote Hagen herself, it is a show that looks at “being a teenager, mental health and Westlife”.
Over the past couple of years, Hagen has picked up a great deal of acclaim for comedy that breathes new life into potentially tiresome topics, such as dating, to the much less spoken about politics of body positivity. Considering that she is still in the early years of her comedy career, she already has a voice that stands out immediately. Hagen has really lived up to the hype and more so with this fantastic debut hour.
Before the Fringe even began, there were huge problems that really could have ruined any show. Hagen was supposed to be performing in a newly built 70 seat venue. Unfortunately for whatever reason, the room wasn’t ready in time meaning that Sofie would have to perform at the Liquid Room Annexe Extra, a 500 seater enormodome that is not only devoid of atmosphere, it’s also astonishingly tricky to find. Now, many comedians about to perform their first ever Edinburgh hour would crumble (and who would blame them?). But not Hagen, who did an incredible job in getting a sizeable audience in every single night.
It is often said that too much emphasis and focus is put on the awards, especially the Foster’s / Perrier’s / if.comeddie’s. However, it should be said that this year the line up for the newcomer prize was as good as I’ve ever seen it. And Hagen won, getting the pick above names with a great deal of “buzz” around them such as the brilliant Adam Hess or Daphne. The fact that the show was chosen above Tom Parry’s glorious Yellow T-Shirt show is surely enough of a reason to tell you that this is essential stuff.
A particular highlight of many shows I’ve enjoyed recently is when the performer looks back at work they created or attempts at being cool when in their teens. This is something I’ve seen Richard Herring use to great effect and something Joel Dommett has been particularly good at doing in the past few years. Hagen takes a similar approach, reading out fan fiction that she wrote about Irish boyband Westlife and it is some of the most excruciatingly hilarious comedy I have seen in 2015. Yet Hagen’s warm, low key approach means that you are never even close to being overwhelmed.
Bubblewrap is also a powerful show though. It deals with important issues that are rarely discussed and does so in a way that is never preachy yet could convert even the most closed off mind. I really think Sofie Hagen is going to be a very important comedian for years to come and clearly I’m not the only one to think this as she is winning awards and turning up on TV and radio; he future is extraordinarily bright. Bubblewrap really should be seen, so make sure you’re down the front and prepare yourself for the most incredible piece of self-celebration since Beyonce’s Flawless.