Angela Barnes is a lesser comedian this year. Certainly not in terms of talent or pulling power, but she's lost three stone, which is a fair bit of Barnes to be doing without. And yet her words now resonate more powerfully—she isn’t opera singing, after all—as this show actively drills in the take-home messages.
Confidence helps when you’re trying to change a wee bit of the world, of course, and that’s a key theme here. Barnes actually has a major fear of singing in public, for example, which she'll be confronting at the Pleasance Grand soon. It’s the latest of several issues she’s taking on.
Regarding the weight loss, the Kent-born comic is at pains not to sound body-fascist, but rapidly gaining it is a sign that her mental health has gone awry. That anxiety kicked in after a seedy #MeToo moment, and her lengthy speech about the subject is hugely impressive. It may not be funny, but it’s as sharp and useful a statement to modern men as you’ll hear. If you want something summed-up succinctly, ask a good comedian. And Barnes is certainly that.
Elsewhere there are great punchlines galore, invariably hitting the right targets. The general state of post-Brexit Britain and those contentious US happenings didn’t help her moods either, but she then “joined a cult”—park running—which did. Again, running isn’t for everyone, but Barnes’ personal escape from the darkness is an inspiring tale. Rose Tinted is razor-sharp, sometimes angry, but also features a big heap of hope.