I feel slightly stupid reviewing Sarah Lewis, as everyone else in the Fringepig office is convinced she doesn’t exist.
I should probably explain: SOMEONE at Mumble Comedy exists, and if he or she wishes to sometimes identify as Sarah Lewis, then that is fine. But we think this person identifies sometimes as Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert and Damo whatsisname and Nina something and Thingummy Hoodjaflip. They’re all the same person, that’s what I’m saying.
At least, that’s what my colleagues are saying. Not me. I said NO, I am sure that nobody would pretend to be a whole lot of different people who all have the same appalling grammar, all make the exact same spelling mistakes; all insert unnecessary spaces and exclamation marks and all write sentences that sound like bullet points because they can’t be bothered to turn their notes into English. I mean, why would anyone bother? Just for some free tickets? You’d have to be mad.
So, convinced of the verity of Sarah Lewis, we arrive at this word bouillabaisse: “Makes light of the fact that being an Indian comic, racism does not bother him, as he jokes no racist is going to come and watch him, with a name like Nish Kumar, doing stand-up for an hour! His experience touring the aptly named, Isle of Whyte, was something of a surprise. Race bingo anyone?”
For Zoe Lyons, Lewis gets the first paragraph under her belt simply by cutting and pasting Lyons’ performance CV. In fact, the whole review reads so much like the back of a flyer that it’s possible that Sarah Lewis, while possibly not existing, did not actually venture – even in her nonexistential state – into Zoe Lyons’ show. It is tantalisingly possible that this is the Holy Grail of the meta-reviewer: A nonexistent reviewer’s review of a show she not only could not see, but which her creator also did not see. And this review that is a review of an unseen show is being reviewed by a stuffed toy, about whose veracity, dear reader, you may entertain your own doubts. Let us pause awhile in blissful wonder at the world we humans have made.
Of course, none of this should prevent us from enjoying a good word jumble. “The self-declared ‘lefty, lesbo, Briton living idiot’ tackles topical material such as the Scottish referendum, UKIP, equal marriage, immigration, sexism and ageism. At 42 years old, Lyons is experience a bit of a midlife crises, thinking about death and funerals, however equally she has a love for old ladies, Europe and boxed wine so it’s not all doom and gloom.”
I could ask: Has Zoe Lyons really self-declared as that? I mean, I could try and assess this in various ways but really – it would be like poking some gut-splattered tarmac beneath the Empire State Building and trying to discern cause of death. I think we can defer to Occam’s razor and say that Sarah Lewis, even if she once lived, has now exploded, and taken the rest of Mumble Comedy with her. Let this review serve for all the Mumblers who were this year wished into existence.
But that’s not to say they’re not real. They’re as real as the Isle of Whyte.