7 August 2016
For anyone wondering whether Seymour Mace will ever run out of crap glove puppet routines, shonky cardboard props and flimsy game-show spin-offs, the answer is no, apparently he never will. It’s a question he asked himself quite obsessively, he confesses, agonising through the pressure of the 12-month build-up to another Fringe, where he’d have to deliver a hit show after all the inconveniently gushing praise he received for last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated Niche as Fuck! He can relax though, Shit Title (he settled on that one after binning several other options including Dark Whimsy and Lonely Joking) is just as magnificently off as his growing legions of fan would hope it to be.
From his tuneless karaoke intro to ‘I Wanna Know What Love Is’ as the crowd shuffle into their seats, through his sensual, partially undressed mannequin hand dance, and an illustrated guide to famous Garys he admires or strongly disapproves of, Mace can’t seem to switch off once he’s up and running. And it’s a pleasure to behold.
Ridiculous, mildly abusive whimsy, with references to suicide, depression, mortality and self-harm are cheerfully slotted in among ‘Cuddly Toy’ lip syncing, prosthetic chins and inflatable props. Another sublimely daft show from an outsider grandmaster at work.
The Stand 2, until 28 Aug (not 15), 2.30pm, £9 (£8).
28 August 2015
This Geordie has been coming to the Fringe for 12 years, charming the tits off his fans with dark whimsy and flimsy props. Thank goodness he’s just decided to go deeper with his strange, surrealist, low-budget style to present his aptly-titled 2015 show Niche as F*ck!
Those who weren’t on-board the Mace train before probably won’t feel tempted now. But for lovers of his absurd, northern line of light entertainment (constructed from tin foil and charity shop tat, and borrowing from the unfaltering professionalism of Tommy Cooper, the thought-provoking social commentary of Vic and Bob and the poetic flair of Viz magazine) this may be his best hour yet.
For all its homemade disaster, there is a sophisticated balance between the cutely nonsensical (glove puppets, sketches of man-sandwiches, a top prize made of a Pringles tube and a golf ball) and something more ink-black and cynical. When game-show contestants from the crowd lose his bizarre game of ‘Blankety Twat’, they’re sent back to their seats with a torrent of affectionate abuse, hanging their heads.
Dafter, ludicrous moments are punctuated with asides about fiddlers, wife batterers, social climbers and evil-doers. ‘See? It seems silly but it’s actually quite political!’ he says, in a kind of wonky Anne Robinson wink to his crowd. It’s definitely silly, but Mace’s niche is a smart one too, where laughter tears spring from his crowd at the oddest moments.
The Stand 2, 558 7272, until 30 Aug, 2.30pm, £8 (£7).
10 August 2009
Weird and wonderful game show antics Continue reading