Australian stand up Sarah Kendall, one of the nominees for this year’s Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award, is the epitome of a child trapped in the body of an adult, in the most entertaining of ways. Bringing a lack of self-consciousness and an upbeat demeanour to the stage, Sarah’s words often seem to ring true, even if they are absolutely ridiculous throwaway comments. This is a result of her charming confidence that assures audiences that the slight possibility of derailment is in fact totally controlled, but the possibility that it might not be is enthralling.
Not all stand up comedy in this world is completely enjoyable to watch; comedians are constantly working hard to challenge audiences in terms of their material and general performance features, because that is what makes comedy successful, innovative and exciting. However, what is even more exciting, for me at least, is to find a comic who ticks all of those boxes in terms of creating original, intelligent material, but who is also continuously fun. Sarah Kendall’s energy rarely dips and her enthusiasm on stage is truly enjoyable to see.
Footage from Sarah’s performance on Russell Howard’s Good News in 2009 could easily be mistaken for content from a recent series. Her material feels timeless in a way similar to that of absurdist stand up Paul Foot: topical cultural references are not necessary here and it seems that Kendall might be making a conscious effort to avoid them. This comedian strikes a chord with audiences due to the blend of a sweet and relatable personality with a certain subverted weirdness that works under the surface, shining more brightly when she plays up to surreal scenarios. Sarah Kendall is rapidly becoming a big name in the UK as well as in Australia.