Comedian Sasha Ellen indeed finds herself in a number of pickles in her new Edinburgh show. Featuring stories of near misses with cousins and actually missing boyfriends, Pickle is one hell of a journey. By the end of it, Ellen has delivered a solid stand up set that the majority will find to be of their liking. It doesn’t do much more than it says on the pickle jar, but it still goes down well with a crowd prone to a bit of comedy on a lazy evening.
The star of 2017’s Accidents happen to Sasha Ellen is clearly developing and learning as a comic with every passing show. Ellen is as friendly a comedian as you are every likely to meet at the Fringe. By her own confession she can “cut a bitch” when needed, but throughout Pickle she is always smiling and laughing along with the audience. Her outlandish stories might merit a more animated delivery style, with some weirder moments feeling strangely run of the mill. Yet it likely wouldn’t suit Ellen, who feels like she is chewing the fat with her audience in an impressively casual performance.
The stories are quite funny in themselves, the kind of anecdotes that comedians seem able to pluck from thin air. Ellen has a lot to say as well, chopping between two main story threats seamlessly enough that it avoids major confusion. The stories and their delivery never feel forced. It is a very genuine performance from Ellen, the recollections feeling like a very real part of her life. When things take a turn for the strange, this just makes her words all the funnier.
A gifted speaker and comedian, Ellen near maximises her stories for their funny factor. It might lack the boundary pushing and sense of greater significance that other comedy shows have, but this is still a solid, reliable hour of laughter. This is a comedian who will leave you relishing the juicy details of her jokes and imagining your own fantasies involving sexy helicopter pilots.