On a shockingly hot bank holiday Monday, most people would prefer not be in a sweltering metal shipping container, pressed up against dozens of others. This is especially true when the rest of The Warren is tantalisingly close beyond the closed doors, with its ice cream, cold beer and a light breeze. Spare a thought then, for Brodi Snook, who wasn’t just seated in the sweat-box for the first sold-out date of her show Babe, but under the lights on stage.
Snook’s an Australian who has been in Brighton for eight years, and one of the comedy highlights of this year’s Warren’s programme. Cuttingly sharp with astute, relatable writing about her childhood, love life and ambitions, she keeps it focused, with just the right amount of audience interaction. Her material is bold and quick, and at times gasp-inducingly blunt. She sees no need to veer into wacky territory or awkward puns, remaining confident and sharp as she touches on subjects as diverse as fairy lights, incest, cycling and feminist empowerment. Her innocent look belies a filthy mouth, to the abject delight of a man repeatedly snorting on the front row. Some people are naturally witty, and Snook gives the impression that she’d be just as engaging in the pub as on the stage, making the audience warm to her quickly. My friend, who’d been less than enthused about the prospect of sitting inside for an hour, raved about the show afterwards.
There are only a few points of criticism that I can raise. Firstly, she did a joint show called Paranoid with Dave Fensome for the 2017 Brighton Fringe, which I saw, and a lot of the material is the same as in Babe. It’s still funny, but familiarity dulls the impact. One of the jokes was about lumbersexuals; upon not receiving many laughs she admits it’s old material, and it did feel a bit dated. The second – completely understandable – point is that her on-stage persona is very cool and collected but occasionally the heat threw her usually perfect delivery off. She asked if audience members needed to leave to cool down a few times whilst looking longingly at the door and sipping iced water. This caring approach jarred a little with the brash swagger of her writing, but I doubt many could have coped better in the extreme heat.
She’s back at the Warren for more dates later in the month, at a more sensible evening slot. If you haven’t seen her before, you’d be a fool to miss Babe.
The Warren: The Burrow, Monday 7th May
Returns on May 8th, 9th and 18th