Sasha Ellen: When Life Gives You Ellens Make Ellenade is part of the free Fringe, and after the gig, I contributed £10 to the show.
Count that as the executive summary if you want because sometimes cash is more elegant than words.
DISCLAIMER: Although Edinburgh Reviews are supporting PBH’s Free Fringe with an ad in the ‘wee blue book’, we are reviewing shows from both Laughing Horse and PBH’s Free Fringe, all of which will be reviewed fairly and without bias.
I picked Sasha Ellen from the terrifyingly long list of Fringe possibilities because she’s a gamer. A tabletop, dice throwing, D&D playing Game Master and therefore part of my worldwide family of geeks.
You won’t think “Geek” if you bump into Sasha on the street, though, even at 2am. She was dressed with prim style and sophistication, looking like she had just finished a hairdressing magazine photoshoot as she joked about her sex life and Deliveroo.
I didn’t go to Sasha’s D&D-themed Fringe act. I picked the other one. When Life Gives You Ellens Make Ellenade is, as the name suggests, about making the best of all the awkwardness life throws at you.
There’s a lot of sex chat in Sasha’s show and helpful advice on internet dating. Single guys like yours-truly get treated to some harsh and hilarious truths.
Sex and relationships, too. Ellenade is the post-breakup show. These are part of the DNA of the Festival, and Sasha, like so many before her, has this unique and public platform to work and talk through the impact.
There are also counselling stories, wonderfully and lightly spiced with a bit of geek humour. Or pop culture humour, depending on how old you are. I maintain that post-breakup shows are an excellent tonic if you, too, are in that phase of your life.
As much as there’s anxiety and the occasional nod at the pressure society puts on people, especially women, I think there’s much hope in When Life Gives You Ellens Make Ellenade, too. Sasha proves that the way forward is to move forward. Just do the thing, even if it’s scary, but do it with appropriate caution (even if that caution is a cricket bat).
The gig is up close and personal. You can’t hide in the crowd (and I suspect it will be a crowded audience). You’ll have a great view of the performance and easily be able to read Sasha’s slides.
Oh yes, another clue from scant evidence that Sasha Ellen might be part of Nerdom; there are presentation slides and a clicker.
It’s a hot show. It’s not sex chat hot; that’s all warts and all; it’s physically hot in the back room of the Counting House. I recommend dressing in layers and shedding a few before you sit down.
Some free Fringe gigs are awkwardly stuffed into poorly adapted shells. You’ll be warm but comfortable with your no-holds-barred chat with Sasha.
I had a blast. I’m single, and after listening to Sasha’s experiences, I am pleased to say I’m happy being single. If I change my mind, I’ll try online dating. I’ve also been equipped with some murderous tips from this intelligent woman.
I don’t think I’d bring my mum to the gig or go with an ex, but I know a group of Edinburgh’s indie tabletop gamers are planning several trips to see her two shows, and it’s tempting to join them.