Under a warm burnt orange glow, Sophie Duker describes her time in Ghana living with her self-dubbed Don Corleone-esque hag (that’s her grandmother). Duker has already established her name at the Edinburgh Fringe before, but this time around we’re coming out of Duker’s self-dubbed ‘global panacotta’ and she does not disappoint – reclaiming the word 'hag' back and all.
First up, the storytelling is unrivalled. When Duker describes her experiences in Ghana and on her travels, she takes us on a fully immersive journey. One that is joyful, vibrant and proud. Matched with simple lighting that adjusts to the mood of the subject matter, Duker’s presence is entirely welcoming (but maybe that’s just the Aquarius in her).
Duker literally opens the show by getting the crowd to shout ‘black’ and get themselves familiar with saying it – like there’s some perimeter that Caucasians skirt around instead of admitting the fact that Duker is a black pansexual woman. It’s an ice-breaking start to the show and one that really exemplifies Duker’s crowd control.
The anecdotes are just chef's kiss. One of Duker’s catchphrases throughout the show is ‘What do you do on a lesbian cruise ship?’. Well, the answer is a lot simpler than what Duker experienced. Duker tells the tale of when she performed in front of 700 older lesbians on said cruise ship, was adopted by crystal witches, and that one time she ended up attending a seance on board.
At times, her fast-paced jokes rock the entire audience into a laughing frenzy. By the end, it’s fully understood that Hag is a really heartfelt show at its core. There is a tenderness about it whei'n Duker weaves in the topic of grief, and the significance of her grandmother’s (frankly quite lame) joke.
Hag is a show about disrupting the expectations that are placed upon ourselves. Sophie Duker is an incomparable stand-up voice of our time, and in Hag she puts her heart on her sleeve.
Read our interview with Sophie Duker here.
For tickets and more information, visit edfringe.com