Photo of Angela Barnes

Angela Barnes: “Hot Mess”
“Another, fine mess of hot comedy…”
Huntingdon Hall, Worcester 12th May 2023

As the light went up at the end of the night I realised I was crying…

Angela Barnes is a generous performer, giving of her time, her shop-floor humour and her willingness to warm up the audience for the warm- up act. Although, the audience that assembled in not inconsiderable numbers at the Hall, were already onside long before the lights went down.

Michael Fabbri, Barnes good friend and co-worker has a quietly understated and intelligent approach to his comedy. His short shift with us is worthy of plaudits. The anecdotal stories from his Job centre role had the timing of a well-oiled clocking in machine. Furthermore, the guffaw- inducing joke about how he received his new hand-me-down phone might have unnerved Barnes waiting in the wings, if she was not so assured of her right to perform.

So many comedians mine their observational comedy with a faux bemused, baffled and bewildered approach. At 47 Angela Barnes knows her own mind, her ADHD, understands relationships & friendships, contemporary politics and more importantly what makes people laugh. (Notwithstanding the good people of Lincoln. Apparently.) Over the years Barnes has made sense of the nonsensical and is not afraid to share her humorous homilies with us.

The sage advice regarding air fryers made a lasting impression.

In direct contrast to the modest approach of her mate Fabbri, Barnes unleashes her well-practised “streams of consciousness” on her audience with barely a break between the punchline and complementary laughter. The 90 minute (sic) set must have left Angela Barnes nearly as breathless as the attentive consumers – talk about customer service.

 Barnes ability to laugh and mock herself is an attribute which alerts you to her intense introspection and her undoubted intelligence. Angela Barnes is far from deluded as to what she is offering the world and genuinely happy when corrupting the horizon of expectation. When she found herself on a rare red-carpet moment, with the Paparazzi inquiring what was she wearing, she rejoiced in declaring…”Tesco!” The skit which plays out when she articulates how her friends reacted when they met her husband to be, simply informs how comfortable Barnes is with herself and the ensuing relationship.

Angela Barnes, much like her role of making people laugh, takes relationships and friendships very seriously. Her friendship with Phil Jerrod as recalled, explored and celebrated throughout the night culminated in a denouement not too many were expecting. Let’s be honest here, you need to be at the top of your art to plunge from bathos to pathos and Tv’s Angela Barnes Is just that!

By: Swilgate Scuttler

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