2018 Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer nominee, Sara Barron returns to the Edinburgh Fringe following her five-star debut hour and two sell-out runs at London’s Soho Theatre. Her new show, Enemies Closer, examines kindness, meanness, ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, current husbands, all four of her remaining friends, and two of her twelve enemies. The Fountain caught up with Sara about the show, as well as her top tips for new performers.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
Yes, thank you. I did my debut hour last year, so for this – the classic second album sitch – the idea of it all, of writing an entire hour in a single year, made me absolutely crap myself. Now, though, with the bulk of that writing behind me, I’m feeling less like crapping myself and notably more excited.
TF: Enemies Closer certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
Well, the premise is mostly just to do an hour of killer standup, rip-roaring and well-observed. I aim to write sixty minutes that feels like twenty, that leaves an audience wanting more. More specifically, it’s about hating your friends and, occasionally, liking your enemies. It’s a tightrope walk between honesty and cruelty, open-mindedness and naiveté, self-awareness and self-loathing. I spend the bulk of the hour working to convince you of the power of negative thinking. (I’ve been told more times than I care to count that I have an American energy and delivery mixed with a very British sensibility. I choose to take this as a compliment.)
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
I’m motivated in no small part by wanting to provide a counterpoint to the whitewashed versions of life everyone posts on social media nowadays. It’s too much for me…. how everyone’s in the throes of self-promo, and going on about how great everything is and how well they’re doing. To use the mid-‘90s parlance: It grosses me out. And feeling grossed out, as I so often do, my aim with standup is to try to talk truthfully – and, I hope, in a way that’s really funny – about how grimy and trying and hard grownup life actually is.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
My plans for the Fringe: to have a show that’s not only not a sophomore slump, but more than that, a show that’s better than the one I did last year, that shows growth and improvement and a smarter header on my shoulders and all that sort of thing.
My tips for first-time performers: do NOT read reviews. Don’t read bad ones, don’t read good ones. Just don’t read them. Also, don’t read other people’s reviews, and also also stay off social media.
Have I been to the Fringe before: yes.
Is there anything I’m keen to see: yes, loads. Top of the list are Sarah Kendall, Phil Wang, Rose Matafeo, Max and Ivan, and Sofie Hagen. That said, I’ll be up with a toddler and the exhaustion
I experienced last year, which was something for the ages, so I’m mostly lying low this year, hanging with my kid, doing my show, and then – as my treat for having done my show – watching Killing Eve, Black Mirror and Big Little Lies, all of which I’m saving/stockpiling until August. I will also try to sleep a lot. My heavy comedy viewing will begin in earnest, in October.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond the Fringe?
World domination. And what I mean when I say that is that I’d like over the course of fifteen years to make an offensively huge sum of money as a standup. I’d then give loads of it away to charity – childhood education, specifically – and then buy a second home for my husband, son and me in a place called Shelter Island, which is seriously the greatest and most peaceful place I’ve ever been.
You can see Sara Barron: Enemies Closer at Pleasance Courtyard from 1st – 25th August (not 13th) at 20:30. For tickets, please visit https://tickets.edfringe.com