Young Canadian comedian and writer Mae Martin, described as a ‘brilliant mix of clever, venerable and goofy,’ was even younger when she began performing comedy, at the age of 13. Now eleven years later she has established herself as one of the bright lights on the British circuit. Mae trained for four years at the Toronto outpost of the internationally acclaimed comedy institution and world’s premier school of improv, The Second City, which boasts alumni including Tina Fey, Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy and Bill Murray. London-based since 2010, Mae successfully debuted at the Edinburgh Festival the following year and then her sell-out MAE DAY run in 2012.
I was lucky enough to catch he delightful comic last Thursday before her show at the Soho Theatre where she signed my drawing.
Sofie Hagen’s intro on her website reads, ‘Welcome to my website. If you don’t know me, I’m a Danish stand-up comedian, writer and extraordinarily nice person.’ All true. The 27 year old, Copengagen-born, London-based comic made an impressive debut at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, winning the Best Newcomer Award with BUBBLEWRAP, an engrossing, entertaining and candid romp through her life that had its foundations in a teenage obsession with Irish boy-band Westlife.
It touches on the themes such as body issues, mental health and feminism, that have become de rigueur in contemporary comedy, dragging the once taboo into the mainstream. The Guardian described her as having “an easy charm and an ability to combine delicate subject matter with accessible laughs.” It was early last year that she had her ‘awakening’, where her long-held insecurities faded away and she finally learned to accept what she thought were flaws and love herself for all her quirks. She said she became a happier person and a better comedian. Her epiphany came when a man asked her to urinate on him during sex in the shower. I believe social anthropologists would include Sofie in what they have termed ‘generation overshare’.
This month Sofie bought BUBBLEWRAP to London’s Soho Theatre, where I caught up with the ‘extraordinarily nice person’ after Monday evening’s show. The audience clearly enjoyed it. One woman remarked that she was very brave, dealing with the difficult themes. Dealing with stalking, signature-hunting, scribblers may be added to that list, but since she stated that, “comedy is the one thing that makes sense in her life” I was confident she would see the funny side and happily sign the sketch. I was right.