Review: Venus – Sophie Duker – Rachel-Anne Clarke

Show: Venus – Sophie Duker
Venue: Pleasance Courtyard
Star Rating: *****
Reviewer: Rachel-Anne Clarke

Venus is Sophie Duker’s debut hour and baby she’s got it nailed. If you’re looking for your new favourite ‘woke’ comedian Duker, who’s preferred pronouns happen to be she/her/that bitch, might just be for you. But if you’re only there to get an ego boost from telling your friends you went, you can expect to get called out. You will feel uncomfortable and you will check your privilege. She might even ask you what colour she is, my advice is get involved. Venus is Duker’s unique exploration of identity and culture wrapped up in her quest to find a positive black role model. It’s a well planned whirlwind insight into Duker’s experiences as a privately educated, queer, black women.

Whilst her content might seem niche to some (the straight white folk in the audience) she delivers it in such a way that is inclusive of everyone who is there to see her. The show gets it’s name from Sarah Baartman, a South African woman who was brought to Europe as a slave and exhibited as ‘Hottentot Venus’. The idea of black people being used as props is a recurring theme throughout the show. It is best explained through the phenomenon that is ‘Stacy Dooley syndrome’ when Duker unapologetically outs the white saviours of Tinder posing with black children and babies on what is presumably their gap years.

She continues to explore white privilege and racism in the 21st century, through the depictions of black women in the media. From movie scripts to Megan Markle her critiques of media and society are on point and she comfortably tells it like it is. It’s a jam packed hour and when she’s not serving social commentary Duker opens up to us about her internal struggles, from making efforts to not fit the stereotypes of black women and coming to terms with her sexuality. She talks us through the journey that lead her to become the triple threat, out and proud, joke telling, twerking, story owning comedian that she is today.

Smart and hilarious, she’s a killer comedian and it looks like her search for a role model could be the very thing that’s made one of her.

Venus tickets available here
Pleasance Courtyard
Until 25 August
7pm (1 hour) 

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