Sara Barron’s been told she gives off ‘American energy’ (and not in a good way), but it’s difficult not to find her confidence and spirit infectious. Having lived in the UK for a decade, the stand-up gives her outsider opinions on the peculiarity of the British public before launching into the meat of the show; a deeply personal, hilarious (and at times graphic) journey to motherhood via IVF.
In Hard Feelings Barron finds a lot to make fun of during the IVF process, not least her husband’s discomfort with the act of making his ‘donations.’ Barron has to go through rounds of injections and literal surgery in order to get pregnant but somehow her husband thinks he’s got the raw end of the deal by having to produce a sperm sample on demand.
The IVF doesn’t go smoothly and Barron finds humour in some very dark situations, as many of us have when faced with tragedy. A life changing event occurring during a screening of Hot Tub Time Machine 2 and having to make use of a tub of Ben and Jerry’s for something other than eating has the audience laughing, some awkwardly. Barron is not afraid to go near the knuckle so strap in if you’re faint of heart.
Barron is a dynamic performer, chewing up every inch of the stage and commanding the audience’s attention. She knows how to work a room and some audience members get to give their input at key moments. Nothing is more apparent about the length of time spent in the UK than her casual use of the c-bomb, something most US comics still shy away from.
Ageing, dating over the age of 29 and the politics of the school mum clique are all up for discussion. As is the concept of using oral sex as currency, something many women laughed about quite loudly in recognition. The audience soak up every witty observation and nudges are exchanged between couples at some of the relationship banter.
An hour in Barron’s time never feels long enough, and despite all the bodily fluid chat, Hard Feelings is a hard recommend.